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Digital enquiries spike as dealers return to work

James Hill, managing director of Dealerweb

Digital enquiries for new and used cars have spiked following the announcement that dealerships could reopen from June 1.

In late May, Dealerweb said digital enquiries were only 16.5% behind 2019 levels. This compares favourably to the 61.5% drop experienced in April.

Car retailers reported that demand from car buyers left pent-up during the COVID-19 lockdown period had resulted in a bumper return to showroom trading on June 1.

James Hill (pictured), managing director of Dealerweb, said: “It is clear that digital channels are leading the way as buyers start to think about their next vehicle purchase. There is no doubt that dealers will need to ramp up all aspects of the digital customer journey to maximise conversion rates and ensure a great customer experience is maintained.”

Levels of telephone enquiries have not recovered at the same pace despite many dealerships staffing customer service lines. April saw a 95.5% decline in enquiries against 2019 and May experienced an 80% drop.

Dealerweb research has previously indicated that 49% of buyers are more likely to complete a vehicle purchase if they receive a response to an online enquiry within one hour. A quarter of buyers said they expected a dealer to respond in under 30 minutes.

Hill added: “Our latest analysis shows that real demand is building and dealers vitally need the right systems in place to maximise on conversion rates in the appointment only, social distancing environment.”

Dealerweb has made its React platform available as a standalone software solution so any dealer can use it. It also integrates seamlessly with the Dealerweb enquiry management system. React is a web-based system and mobile app designed to capture 100% of web leads and ensure 100% response so that every lead is managed in real-time. 

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