Providing solutions that allow dealers the flexibility to operate key processes exactly how they want is essential to the rapid uptake of online motor retailing, according to iVendi’s chief executive James Tew.
He is hosting the online finance provider’s best practice seminar at next month's Automotive Management Live expo.
Tew highlights a number of reasons why this flexibility is needed – ranging from different working practices to simply not yet knowing what works.
Building on themes he will be discussing during his presentation at Automotive Management Live on ‘The Future of Online Car Retailing’, Tew said: “The transition to online is smoothed out by web enabling certain processes. However, there is not widespread agreement about which of these processes should be web-enabled.
“Trade-ins are probably the most emotive area. Dealer attitudes towards handling these online range from wanting to control every single aspect as much as possible through to a much more relaxed approach.
“Value added products are another. If you never sit down with the online customer, how do you protect the revenue that products such as gap insurance and paint protection can generate? Different dealers have different ideas.”
Tew (pictured) added that negotiation was a further area where dealer attitudes varied widely.
“There are several sensible ways that price negotiation can be handled online. However, it is a subject that makes some dealers very nervous while others see it in the same, relatively straightforward light as a showroom car sale.”
The solution is to provide sales platforms that allowed dealers the flexibility to handle online car retailing in exactly the way they wanted, he said: “Our belief is that the key to accelerating dealer acceptance of online car retailing is to provide them with technology that will allow them to do business in a way that makes them feel comfortable.
“Then, over time, they can work with a partner to explore what is working for them and what isn’t, tightening up processes in some areas and creating more leeway in others.
“This is very much the way in which our existing dealer customers have found success in online sales, by trying different things with our platform in order to reach an optimum process that delivers results for them.”
Free for manufacturer and dealer delegates, the one-day expo takes place at Birmingham NEC on November 9 and includes an exhibition hall where a host of suppliers provide access to latest products and services, best practice seminars, an insight theatre which focuses on used cars, F&I and the new data regulations, and a profit clinic.