Rockar Hyundai has become the first car retailer to win the Digital Store of the Year accolade at the Retail Week Tech & Ecomm Awards 2015.
It beat Thomas Cook Group, Made.com, LloydsPharmacy, Pro-Direct Sports and Argos to win the award.
Rockar founder Simon Dixon launched its digital store at Bluewater Shopping Centre six months ago.Dixon, said: “The way the motoring industry has sold cars and interacted with customers has been unchanged for the last 120 years.
“Yet, retail has moved on vastly, with online and digital becoming staple purchasing methods for 21st century shoppers.
“We know that our customers appreciate being able to buy a brand new car in such an easy way and this award shows that the retail industry recognises it too.”
Before launching, Rockar Hyundai carried out research* showing 45% of drivers said they would be more likely to consider replacing their car if buying it was more like shopping for food or clothes, or being in a mall or a supermarket.
The same research also found 20 per cent of motorists have held off from buying a new car simply to avoid the process of doing it.
“Digital isn’t just a fad or a trend. It is an essential requirement for any dealership that wants to remain relevant to customers.”
Tony Whitehorn, president and chief executive said: “For Rockar Hyundai to be recognised in this way by the retail industry is testament to the clear vision of Rockar’s unique business model.
“Rockar Hyundai challenges the traditional convention and it is clear that today’s consumers are embracing the new way to buy a car.”
Rockar allows buyers to purchase a new car entirely online or in the store.
Customers are given complete control of the financial aspects of the purchasing process, with on screen sliders to change deposit size, monthly payments and contract length. They can pay with cash, or opt for a PCP or HP finance plan.
The Bluewater store is open on week days until 9pm. On a typical weekday, Rockar can expect between 400 and 500 visitors. This rises to between 900 and 1,100 at weekends. Traditional dealers, Rockar says, can expect to see 750 new car customer visits per year.
Dixon spent 20 years building the UK’s third largest car retail group Dixon Motors before selling the company to RBS in 2004.
* Research conducted for Hyundai by Opinion Matters, carried out between September 26, 2014 and October 2, 2014. Sample size was 1,600 UK drivers.