The recent closure of online used car marketplace Beepi.com points to why the dealer model can remain an integral part of car buying for many customers, according to Codeweavers.
Codeweavers sales director Shaun Harris described the closure of Beepi.com in the US as a “high-profile failure” which served to demonstrate that many used car buyers still lack confidence in platforms that offer no physical car trading expertise.
Harris said: “Having raised $150 million and seen its value go as high as $560 million during funding rounds, Beepi.com now represents a high-profile failure. Like other businesses before, the business has demonstrated that the very distinct high value, motor retailing model, with its complex remarketing attributes is not straightforward and requires very different skill sets to other retailing models.”
Codeweavers conceded that digital is now “the dominant starting point for the customer’s purchase journey” in a statement on the subject, but said added that its own analytical analysis of customer behaviour had demonstrated that many car buyers now want their digital experience to go further to facilitate their planned purchase.
The hurdle to be overcome in the digital car-buying journey is one of confidence, it stated, with many buyers still keen to see, touch and ‘feel’ the retail experience, both online and in person.
Codeweavers said that the exception lies with a new car purchase, however, where the manufacturer brand and brand promise stands tall.
Harris said: “We have long championed an omni-channel approach to car retailing. This does not just mean just a simple promotional only website. This can create awareness but falls short of the engagement and confidence building that pulls the customer closer to the dealer and into moving from interest to action.
“A dealer’s digital presence needs a range of tools to pull the customer through their car buying journey in a way that creates confidence. Commonly, this will be far deeper than just the car itself; finance, part-exchange, aftersales all have a role to play.”