BMW retailers have embraced the brand’s new car online retail initiative and have welcomed moves to incorporate used vehicles, the scheme’s project manager Paul Kester will tell delegates when he speaks at AM’s Digital Dealer conference.
Taking place at Whittlebury Hall, near Silverstone, Northamptonshire on September 6, the event explores the fast-paced digital environment which is transforming the way customers buy their vehicles.
Kester (pictured) will tell BMW’s story which saw new cars available to buy online, with sales crucially being operated within BMW’s traditional retail model.
Kester said: “A manufacturer selling new cars online may sound like the death knell for the traditional dealer, but for us, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“We understood that for any online sales initiative to be successful for BMW, we would need the full support of our retailers”.
“Customers are happy to transact online, but we have found many still want to test drive the vehicle and most still want the BMW experience when it comes to collecting their new car.
“People buy from people and the local connection seems as important to customers today as it has been in the past – without our retailers this would never have been a success.”
Now the brand is expanding its online offering to used vehicles, with pilot schemes expected to be in place by the end of this year, the backing of the network is even more integral to its success.
As BMW Retail Online approaches its first anniversary, Kester will draw on its statistics which reveal the type of customer willing to buy online and how it is helping to redefine the retail model and expand the parameters of the traditional showroom sales model.
Winners of the Digital Initiative of the Year and Best Manufacturer Digital Initiative accolades at the AM Awards 2016, the BMW online retail site had, by May, already generated 14,000 live chats, 41,000 click-to-purchase transactions and 300 pure online sales in which customers paid for their vehicle via the web-site.
Tickets are available to dealers and manufacturers, with a limited number of supplier tickets on sale.