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Tailored customer journeys are ‘future’ of online motor retail, says iVendi

James Tew, iVendi

Personalisation has been flagged by iVendi as the future of online motor retail, as it claims tailored customer journeys delivered the best results.

Chief executive James Tew said that it has become clear that the best results were achieved when online customer requirements were quickly identified and met.

“This is really about the parallel development of big data and technology that allows progressively more tailored online journeys to be created,” said Tew.

“What big data provides is information about likely customer needs. If you know just a few facts about a customer then, based on previous behaviour by others who fit a similar profile, there is a strong chance they will have similar needs.

"Your systems can immediately start to offer them options that are probably very relevant.

“The more and the better quality data that you have, the stronger your chances of getting this right as early as possible in the customer’s search for a vehicle.

"Instead of taking them through a relatively longwinded process that is designed to ascertain their needs, you can make a very calculated estimate of what they are.

“Anticipating those desires doesn’t just cover the intricacies of car choice such as colour and engine size but how far they are likely to want to travel to make a purchase as well as their likely finance product preferences in some detail.”

Tew said that a similar approach could be seen in many successful consumer web sites that had access to detailed information about customer behaviour.

“If you go to Amazon and type in ‘AA batteries’, they will give you lots of choices but there is probably a 90% chance that the purchase you end up making is listed in the top two or three results. They have already anticipated your preferences.

“So far, online motor retail has not really operated in this way. To some extent, that is because the process of searching for and financing a car is so much more complicated, along with a slower level of innovation within automotive retailing.

“However, we now generally know the cars of interest to the consumer, their budget, their geography and potentially their affordability and creditworthiness. This allows us to narrow down options immediately to simplify their online journey.

“Where we use our technology to construct a process that meets these needs as quickly as possible, rather than offering more and more choices, sales increase.

“The fact is that people are increasingly habitualised to online shopping being as easy as possible and the motor industry needs to emulate that model. With increasing amounts of data being gathered and analysed, we are starting to meet that need.”

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