iVendi chief exective James Tew has said that the online integration of add-on sales is "the next big challenge" for digital car dealers.
Add-on products such as warranties and service plans are an important source of profit, but are too easily ignored when presented as a single page of options online, according to Tew, who has called on the industry to "complete the online motor retail journey" and provide all of the opportunities of the showroom via the internet.
Tew said that integration of add-on sales was something that iVendi had been "working on for many years". He added: "Most of the major issues have been resolved but there are a small number left and we see add-ons as the next big challenge.
“They are an important source of revenue for dealers and have typically been sold face-to-face. However, online, it is too easy to click ‘next’ because it is not a core part of the car purchase and they are usually introduced near the end of the process.
“Major dealer groups - who in many ways are leading the way when it comes to online processes - are especially concerned about possible reduced add-on sales.
"Upselling of warranties, for example, is difficult for them to achieve when a deal has already effectively been concluded online.”
IVendi has said that efforts so far have been concentrated on investigating where add-ons should be first shown to the customer, and how best to explain their benefits.
“There is no obvious reason to introduce add-ons at the end of the customer journey and we have been experimenting with showing them at other points, as well as dealing with them separately to the main vehicle purchase process altogether,” said Tew.
“We have also created a series of videos that underline the advantages of the main add-on products that are designed to show their benefits to car buyers. This is an approach that has worked very well in online motor finance.
“Everyone in this part of the motor industry recognises the importance of retailing these products successfully online and there is quite an open attitude to sharing information and experiences
“Really, we are in a similar position to where online motor finance was maybe five-to-six years ago, where everyone involved in the sector is trying new and innovative approaches and discovering what works best.
“There is a general recognition that add-ons are such an important part of the car retail experience that we need to find a way to make them saleable in a manner that works as seamlessely as possible online for both dealers and customers.”