AM Online

Spreading the net

Use of the internet has made it easier and faster than ever before for consumers to shop around for the best deal on a product.

This is particularly true for cars, whether in the used or new markets.

But for most dealers, the web is more a marketing tool than a true point of sale. In other sectors, the consumer can pick their deal, click to add it to a shopping basket, type in their credit card, and await delivery.

With car buying, due to the sums involved, the majority of consumers are happy only to do their research online.

They still want to speak to a dealer and agree the deal directly.

Yet this is where so many motor retailers let themselves down.

Research has shown that three quarters of dealers are failing to respond to online sales enquiries quickly enough. commissioned an independent survey of 134 dealers and found 75% did not respond to emailed sales enquiries within four hours.

Only one in 10 dealers was able to respond within an hour of receiving the enquiry.

In fact, 58% take a full working day to react to requests for information on a car marketed online.

Which gives the consumer plenty of time to continue shopping around. It could potentially mean a sale lost to a rival dealer or even a rival franchise.

Don’t think that because a consumer makes contact by email they’re not as serious about buying as one who picks up the phone. It’s just more convenient for them.

One way to maximise returns is to incorporate chat to dealer or instant messaging to your site.

Consumers aren’t the most patient – the internet has helped to make sure of that. They’re used to getting information at their convenience and in the format they desire.

If you can’t provide that, they’ll find a dealer who can.

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