BMW Group UK has launched a new digital car locator tool that allows BMW and Mini customers to find in-stock new cars via the respective brand websites.
The New Car Locator has real time access to the entire network of new stock vehicles at retailers across the UK and each vehicle listing includes extensive technical details, specification information, pricing and accompanying imagery.
If a customer finds a vehicle they want to buy, the final step of the process involves either submitting a contact enquiry to the chosen retailer, or paying a £500 reservation deposit by credit or debit card.
Where customers choose to reserve their car online, their selected retailer will contact them directly to discuss the next step.
Chris Brownridge, sales director at BMW Group UK, said: “In what is clearly going to be a challenging year for automotive retail, it is more important than ever that we provide customers with the right tools to research their next vehicle from home.
“The new BMW and Mini vehicle locators deliver more choice for our customers with powerful search tools and seamless integration into our national and retailer websites, providing a full end-to-end customer experience. The investment in this technology also supports our retail partners by promoting all their current stock to potential customers, digitally, for the first time.”
BMW Group brands in the UK are now seeing a sustained rise in web traffic. BMW online car reservations were up by 130% in May on the previous month, with this trend continuing into June.
The German car maker is one of a number of brands investing in digital sales platforms. Manufacturers inluding Groupe PSA, Jaguar Land Rover, Volvo and VW Group have all expanded their online presence in the wake of the pandemic.
To start the process, BMW and Mini customers select the models they are interested in and set their initial budget (monthly or ‘on the road’). They enter their postcode and are prompted to select one retailer from a list of their five closest locations. Newly introduced functionality provides for a powerful search of the retailer’s local, group and national new vehicle stock that is typically available for handover within two weeks.
Vehicles can be sorted by ‘on the road’ pricing, or, thanks to full integration with BMW Financial Services, by the customer’s monthly payment budget. The latter feature supports a high level of refinement as customers are able to adjust their finance product, deposit contribution, contract duration and/or mileage terms to suit their circumstances.
Results can then be filtered based on personal preferences such as colour combinations, fuel types, transmission and more. Up to three vehicles can be added to a shortlist throughout the refinement process and compared side by side in detail.