Andrew Heywood of Modix UK will tell AM DigiTech delegates that digital retailing will become engrained in the car buying process, while offering advice on how to avoid lagging behind.
Held at the Hilton Doubletree in Milton Keynes on April 17, AM’s second DigiTech conference explores various aspects of digital retailing as well as the impact of new technologies such as the rise of the EV and the connected vehicle.
Drawing on a wealth of data from automotive digital marketing company Modix, part of Cox Automotive, Heywood will outline current consumer attitudes, trends and behaviour and demonstrates how dealers need to become much more digitally literate in their processes and approaches if they are to keep pace with consumer expectations.
He said: “Not all car dealers are embracing digital to the extent the consumer expects or experiences with other retail sectors.
"Nor do many have a clear strategy to make the most of this incredible opportunity of digitising as many elements of the research and purchase journey as possible.
“Thinking digital is covered by a good looking website and social media engagement, would be a mistake. This is just one part of a much bigger and more complex picture.
"For example, consumers researching online and even providing their details via an enquiry form or taking part in live chat would expect the dealer to have captured their information and be able to refer to it when they visit the forecourt (usually unannounced).
“They certainly don’t expect to have to repeat the whole process of providing details from their names to their budget if they have already entered that information on the website.
“By highlighting powerful, consumer trend based data and insights, dealers will be shown how the behaviour and expectations of consumers are driving a need to transform the way they think about digital.
“That’s not to say everything will move online, but that digital and physical dealerships will be even more closely integrated in successful businesses.
“The role of the physical dealership has and will continue to evolve, and understanding consumer behaviour and expectation will help dealers identify how to adapt their strategy by further embracing digital and integrating their on and offline worlds to a much more sophisticated degree.
“Other global markets are already embracing higher levels of digital retailing and these provide clear and tangible strategies for how car dealers in the UK can maximise this opportunity.”