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How to succeed in online car retailing

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Tackling the pitfalls facing dealers head on when offering online vehicle retailing will boost sector confidence in delivering digital sales, according to James Tew, chief executive of iVendi which has developed ecommerce solutions alongside its finance tools.

Tew will host a masterclass at Automotive Management Live at Birmingham NEC on November 7 highlighting how consumers are increasingly comfortable transacting large purchases online and how retailers can take ecommerce to the next level whilst avoiding some of the common pitfalls.

Tew’s session will focus on qualifying the online shopper, how poor data impacts online advertising and the all-important transparent purchase journey to meet Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules, particularly the principles of TCF (treating customers fairly).

James Tew, iVendiHe said: “Online retailing is a reality and retailers need to enable consumers to do as much of the purchase journey digitally including the transaction as well as allowing car buyers to dip in and out of the virtual and physical seamlessly. However, there are some areas which are cause for concern but they are not insurmountable and should not be a barrier to delivering online retailing.”

Qualifying the customer has traditionally been carried out in the showroom but, in a digital world it can seem the only solution is a long, online questionnaire which is both off-putting and impractical whilst increased personalisation also needs to be incorporated.

Tew added: “Best results are achieved where online customer requirements are quickly identified and met. It is imperative that the digital journey and retailer website are more relevant to your customers as we head into a new decade.”

A major downfall will serious repercussions is the amount of misleading vehicle and finance information shown online which inadvertently leads to breaches in regulation. Tew will look at the most commonly occurring issues and how they can be avoided by putting the right technology, procedures and systems in place.

Tew said: “The way a car deal is structured – including factors such as discounts to price and finance alongside added value products – can make both online sales and meeting regulatory needs difficult for even the most committed vehicle retailer. However, technology can be used to avoid these pitfalls and construct an online sales journey that is compliant and profitable.”

Over the past 12-months iVendi has invested in major tech developments to best facilitate various aspects of online retailing from an improved search engine to specific enhancements to its software tools including a tech solution to vehicle coding errors. Accurate error figures will be available once the system is fully operational but iVendi estimates around 15% of vehicles are uploaded with no industry code or the wrong code.

Automotive Management Live 2019

Automotive Management Live is the free of charge event for car manufacturers, car dealers and independents motor traders where an exhibitors hall in the Birmingham NEC jam-packed with the sector’s leading suppliers sits alongside insight theatres and masterclass sessions sharing best practice tips from more than a dozen sector expert speakers.

Automotive Management Live brings together industry experts who will discuss some of the essential elements of operating a thriving automotive retail business in a highly competitive and fast-changing environment as well as the sector’s leading suppliers under one roof in one day. Free for automotive retailers and manufacturers, places can be booked at

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