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Brassell: 'concerns over net'

Dealer websites have “room for improvement”, according to HPI automotive director Martin Brassell who believes they need to become more interactive in order to attract used car buyers' attention and provide the dealership with more background information.

The challenge of the internet was to harness information to transact business with customers, partners and suppliers more efficiently, he told the audience at the 'Used car crossroads' Automotive Management spring conference.

“Website issues make dealers feel like they are losing control of the sales process. But it is an opportunity to get intelligence up front and control sales more.

“Dealers must gather information to enable profiling and to tailor the website to customer-type.” HPI research revealed the top 20 dealers tended to have general information sites, geared towards registering customers and getting feedback. Businesses lower down the AM100 offered greater interaction and “outsourced services” such as online booking for servicing.

Customers have a number of concerns about the internet, including trust, the usage of personal and financial data and the quality of promised merchandise.

HPI reports that dealer activity on its E-check system is growing, with 44% of enquiries outside office hours.

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