Online car retail, stock acquisition, reputation management and consumer finance were among the themes explored by speakers at AM Live 2021.
Here, in the first of two video round-ups of content from the Birmingham NEC expo event's Digital Theatre, Operational Excellence sessions and Inspiration Theatre, we hear insight and best practice from key suppliers.
Click on the videos below to view presentations from Cox Automotive, Auto Trader, Real World Analytics, Reputation, Codeweavers and Experian.
This year's AM Live event will return to the NEC on November 10.
Creating the best buying experience post-COVID
Dealers must offer an omni-channel customer experience to stay ahead in an increasingly digital retail landscape, according to Cox Automotive.
Managing director – retail solutions, Europe, Stuart Miles, led a panel discussion on the importance of meeting customer expectations digitally and in person.
Andrew Heywood, head of client engagement at Modix UK, said: “People buy from people. Digital is there to enhance the consumer’s journey and experience, not to replace it.”
The panel agreed customers should be empowered and encouraged to switch between digital and physical channels to suit their needs.
Used vehicle acquisition on data steroids
Data analytics can unlock £200 to £300 per used car sold if dealers utilise up-to-date information.
A dealer case study presented by Auto Trader and Real World Analytics showed how a large dealer group grew its average selling price from 98% of market value to 103%.
Paul Keatley, national client development director at Auto Trader, said Auto Trader’s Retail Rating helped dealers “capitalise on vehicles that have a high retail rating” and “strategise” for cars with a low rating.
Keatley identified around 15,000 cars priced too low from day one on Auto Trader, resulting in £27m of lost profit
Increase Customer Acceptance rates and sell more vehicles
New finance eligibility technology that can identify customers who are more likely to be accepted can improve satisfaction and efficiency.
Codeweavers and Experian shared the results of the pilot of a new system which allows retailers to see what level of lending the customer would be pre-approved for, along with the rate that will be offered.
Approval rates have risen from 60% to 95% with the system, with 86% of customers taking the deal, they said.
Andrew Gill, Codeweavers head of lender products, said: “Retailers are putting customers forward for finance they know they’re highly likely to be accepted on.”
Concierge service is the future
Connected retailing is key to car dealers’ ability to successfully compete in an omni-channel retail environment, according to iVendi chief executive James Tew.
Tew told delegates at AM Management Live that a combination of the showroom and digital sales processes can address complexities of the car-buying journey such as negotiations, the sale of add-on products, the decline journey for finance, part-exchange prices and getting settlement figures.
“If I have no customer contact in this pure online play, how do I speak? But as physical rooftops, you have that resource and that ability,” he said. “You need your people, and the benefit of the people – the showroom, talking to customers and pure online, the ‘concierge service’ – that is the way forward.”