By Tony Willard
The gap between the most advanced dealer websites and those “stuck in the last decade” is probably wider then ever, said James Tew, director of iVendi, which provides online tools.
|Gerald Grimes, managing director of Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance,|
“Forward-thinking dealers and their preferred lenders use websites to complete as much of the deal online as possible,” he said. “Wider adoption of online tools will be a key trend in 2014. People should be able to buy a car online in the way they buy a book. That mindset is increasing.”
Gerald Grimes, managing director of Hitachi Capital Consumer Finance, said: “A Google study shows car buyers are more promiscuous than ever, with 72% searching across manufacturers and retailers. They use an average of 24 information sources, with online video the number one format for encouraging brand consideration.
“Dealers and manufacturers must provide accurate and fast access to finance because early acceptance helps connect buyers to a brand and a forecourt.”
Paul Kaye, Close Motor Finance sales and marketing director, said a survey with dealer partners revealed 76% used Facebook. “One has seen 80% of potential customers visiting their website before stepping into a showroom,” he said.
“Highlighting finance, and offering one stop for customers, is key to leading people to a showroom.”
Karl Werner, MotoNovo Finance head of sales and marketing, said: “Over 90% of consumers use the web to research their next car. Our research suggests around two-thirds visit one dealer. Customers are largely clear on the car they want and their finance plans. ‘Finance available’ is not enough: it must be prominent and engaging.”