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Harwoods Group JLR dealerships adopt Rockar ecommerce platform

Harwoods Group's Crawley JLR dealership

Harwoods Group has become the first Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) retailer to adopt Rockar’s end-to-end online new car sales ecommerce platform.

The West Sussex-based AM100 car retail group is initially offering new car sales alone via the newly-installed online facility but will soon offer its JLR customers the ability to search and buy approved used vehicles on the platform, a statement issued today (August 19) has revealed.

Rockar said that moving Harwoods’ JLR business to omni-channel and introducing the Rockar e-commerce platform into the showroom at point of sale had meant that it could “transform the customer experience from it being all about the negotiation and transaction, to a more enjoyable immersive brand experience", adding: “And just as importantly, giving the customer the ability to check out later at home, means the customer is empowered to continue their journey and check out when it suits them.”

Martin Sewell, Rockar's managing director, said: “It was an easy decision to work with Harwoods, the forward thinking Harwoods team had already made the hearts and minds shift.

“They demonstrate the rare capacity to think big picture and longer term. 

“They are making the all-important step from lead generation to lead transaction and by partnering together, Harwoods are now able to utilise our unique e-commerce solution that we use every single day as a franchised dealer, and which we continuously improve and optimise by data fact led decisions.”

Harwoods managing director, Archie Harwood, said: “Developing an omni-channel approach to retailing is essential in this day and age and Rockar’s technology offered a fast, tried and tested execution method. 

“We have processed over sixty orders on the platform with two orders having been completely self-service with very little promotion thus far. 

“It’s been an exciting addition for our team who can see great future potential in the use of the platform for the increase in productivity of new and used vehicle sales teams.”

Rockar was founded in 2012, pioneering omni-channel automotive retail through Hyundai stores in Westfield and Bluewater shopping centre.

The Hyundai stores’ long terms viability was brought into question recently, however, when franchised operator Motorline withdrew from the franchised point after just 16 months, stating that it does “not believe the mid- to long-term viability” of the shopping centre new car sales concept.

Rockar’s other omnichannel new car retail partnerships have seen it enable Jaguar, Land Rover, Mitsubishi and Ford to move to omni-channel and provide their customers with an intuitive digital journey, alongside high levels of customer service and an empowered buying experience.

Mitsubishi opened its first store environment last year in partnership with Rockar, while the business oversaw Ford’s creation of a retail space in the Next store at Manchester’s Arndale Centre.

This week Rockar said that it was now using this experience and knowledge to help dealership groups bring together their physical and digital retail offerings in a more effective fashion. 

To date Rockar claims to have now sold 6,000 new and used cars through its pioneering and sophisticated e-commerce platform, with order-take up by 38% July YTD.

It said that 68% of its online customers complete their car purchase on-line away from the store in the customers own time on a device of their choice

The average order value is £61,000 (£7,000 higher than the JLR network average), according to Rockar.

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