By Tony Willard
Customers will this year increasingly expect a higher standard in the way loans are offered online alongside cars for sale, said Shaun Armstrong, Creditplus managing director. Dealerships without this, and who also fail to optimise funding details for mobiles and tablets, risked customers looking elsewhere, he said.
“Dealers’ online offering should be introducing customers early to potential lenders,” said Armstrong. “The notion they could afford more – especially with funding such as a PCP – means a dealer may be able to sell a higher-priced car to a customer set on a lower budget.”
Shaun Harris, sales director at automotive software developer Codeweavers, believes digital activity will be a major driver in meeting changing buying habits in 2014.
Kirk Franks, Alphera Financial Services UK sales manager, said most dealer groups have targeted, specific and price-driven campaigns to maximise PCP and HP deals in 2014
Harris said customers would seek finance elsewhere if they could not find it on a retailer’s site: “In 2014, dealers will need to widen digital content and interactivity to promote their full portfolio.”
He said dealers must manage changes such as 9pm becoming a peak browsing time because of the rapid growth of searches on smartphones and tablets.
“Online navigation should be speedy, with easy functionality and a simple, speedy buying process,” said Armstrong. “Most importantly, brand values need to build and enhance a site’s trustworthiness.”
Kirk Franks, Alphera Financial Services UK sales manager, said most dealer groups have targeted, specific and price-driven 2014 campaigns to maximise PCP and HP deals on new and used cars.
“Such initiatives can be made more powerful by working with funders to develop strong finance packages that offer flexibility and strong returns to consumers, while minimising the overall risk profile,” he said.