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Car dealers’ online activity up 33% in first 10 days of lockdown

James Tew, chief executive officer at iVendi

COVID-19 ‘Lockdown 2’ has sparked a rapid rise in the volume of digital car finance deals being forwarded to dealership customers, according to iVendi.

During the first 10 days of the start of the new lockdown measures in England, on November 5, iVendi reported 33% growth in the number of ‘digital deals’ sent by car, van and motorcycle retailers via its TRANSACT platform.

The number of customers opening the deals also rose by 24%, it said

iVendi chief executive, James Tew, said: “One of the big trends of the year, as dealers have reacted to the coronavirus crisis, is the way in which they are using the online tools available to them in a much more proactive manner, as these new figures illustrate.

“Because of the imposition of lockdowns, they’ve become adept at changing the emphasis between showroom and digital activity, and the increase in Digital Deals being sent over the last week or so shows how quickly they are now capable of moving from one to the other.

“However, what is perhaps the most interesting aspect of these statistics is not the 33% increase in deals being sent by dealers but the 24% rise in deals being opened by customers.

“The more deals that dealers send, the more that customers open, it appears. This shows how this proactive approach to digital is providing a valuable new sales channel during difficult trading conditions.”

Car retailers in Scotland will be among those aiming to escalate the number of digital car sales they facilitate in the weeks ahead, after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that 11 council areas would be moved into Level 4 lockdown from Friday – leading to the closure of car showrooms.

Click and collect deals will be allowed during the three-weeks of scheduled Level 4 measures, however.

iVendi introduced its digital deals offering as part of TRANSACT, a product provided free of charge to its dealer customers since April.

James said: “Digital Deals allow a proposition to be created by a salesperson including finance and value added products, and then sent to the potential buyer as the basis for an online negotiation designed to replicate the subtleties of an in-person dialogue.

“Vehicles totalling more than £65m on finance have been sold using Digital Deals during the last six months. We now have dealers who send them to every potential customer with whom they have contact because of the success they are seeing.”

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