Dealers need to adapt to incorporate the end-to-end means to undertake the entire car purchase journey online.
Digital selling techniques are already transforming the automotive retail sector even further, according to Summit founder Hedley Aylott who will speak at AM’s forthcoming AMDigiTech conference.
Having just helped Peugeot launch its ecommerce facility incorporating the entire car buying journey including part-exchange valuation and funding arrangements, Aylott (pictured) will also draw on Summit’s experience with digital focused stores Rockar and its work in the automotive sector when he speaks at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on April 27 2017.
Aylott will explore online automotive retailing and the platforms needed for a successful, customer-centric internet offering as well as how it will evolve to create a very different retail world, drawing on 16 years’ experience of helping some of Europe’s leading brands and retailers sell online.
He said: “Peugeot is the first manufacturer to go live with an end to end online car sales facility.
"The world of automotive retailing is changing rapidly along with expectations of consumers and we will see a huge transformation over the next few years.
“The questions dealers need to be asking themselves is how do they adapt and what will an even stronger digital retail world look like in three or five years’ time?”
Summit, whose clients include household names such as Argos, Carpetright and Homebase, has created the first ever league table ranking the online performance of the UK’s top 50 retailers.
Summit’s online retailing scorecard applied complex scoring across a set of 171 weighted criteria that covered ecommerce technology, online marketing, online trading and customer service to give an entire view across all the elements that are required for internet sales. Aylott will draw on its findings and share best practice.
In its partnership with Peugeot, Summit mapped the customer journey and built the technology it needed to enable an end-to-end ecommerce facility to function.
The ecommerce facility ‘Order Online by Peugeot’ enables customers to configure their car, arrange a guaranteed part-exchange price and vehicle funding in just 30 minutes in one sitting.
“We can be more confident than ever that car buyers are willing to purchase online, but we need to understand how it will evolve and develop. The most important element is the customer journey and developing a process to accommodate what is a particularly complicated purchase with so many variables.
“On the whole, the sector is not geared up to access the data and serve up all the information needed in real time to a website to enable customers to make an online purchase decision.
"If an online customer changes the trim slightly or opts for a different colour the implications on how it affects price and delivery needs to be relayed instantaneous.
"Being able to access that information, refresh the page and deliver the new details to the customer in less than three seconds remains a challenge which will need to be overcome if customer expectations are to be met.”