Lookers has rolled out Auto Trader’s i-Control system across 80% of its sites in England.
i-Control works by tracking daily market movements. It collates huge volumes of data, then uses advanced algorithms to help support dealers in their stock management decisions, including buying and pricing. Claimed benefits include faster stock turn and improved profitability, as users source only the most desirable stock, price it competitively in a dynamic market and manage their forecourts in the most effective way.
Managing director of Lookers Nigel McMinn said: “Car buyers now carry out the vast majority of their research online and all the information they need is at their fingertips. Some dealers feel that this has put them at a disadvantage, particularly when it comes to pricing. But my view is that we need to arm ourselves with the right tools to help stay one step ahead and i-Control meets that need perfectly.
“I’ve worked closely with Auto Trader to roll-out i-Control in the most effective way across multiple Lookers sites. I’m delighted that sites across the network are showing a reduction in days to sell and many are improving profit per unit. We are also seeing a reduction in overage stock, without a reduction in profits.”
Auto Trader recently analysed 50,000 cars on its site to see if i-Control also played a role in boosting full page ad views. The results showed that cars which were appraised and re-priced based on desirability, value rank and local competitor information received an average of 30% more full page advert views per car, per day over a month than those that weren’t.
Auto Trader UK sales director Sharon Randall said: “In the years to come, I believe intelligence solutions like i-Control will become as essential as having a website. Buying stock and managing an online forecourt are key pillars that support a successful car retailing business. So making smart decisions in an ever-changing landscape based on all the available evidence is vital. I’m really pleased to have welcomed so many new i-Control users in the last year, but I’m particularly delighted to see so many new independent users.”
Lookers is now among 753 retailers that use the intelligence-led solution, up from 170 at the beginning of 2014. The 350% increase is roughly split 50:50 between franchise and non-franchise users.
Auto Trader is continuing to invest in its intelligence and data services to ensure more dealers are increasing profits.