Automotive ecommerce specialist iVendi has helped UK car retailers to facilitate £1.3 billion in vehicle sales in the past 12 months – up £200m despite the impact of COVID-19.
A record number of used vehicle sales have passed through iVendi’s online platform in the pandemic year, representing actual sales of more than 120,000 cars, vans and motorcycles, the business said.
Chief executive, James Tew, said that the result showed the extent to which technology has sustained dealers through the crisis.
“Car retailers have spent more than half of the last year being able to only sell online and there is widespread recognition that the market has markedly fallen but dealers using our technology have been able to buck that trend,” said Tew.
News of iVendi's success over the past 12 months comes just days after the business announced that it was poised to “almost double” its staff headcount over the next three years in support of expansion plans in the UK and Europe.
The last 12 months of growth followed steps taken to help retailers facilitate sales during the COVID-19 crisis, Tew said.
Tthe business made the Digital Deal feature of iVendi Transact free to dealers from its launch last April through to the end of the first lockdown.
Tew said that the Digital Deal platform works equally well in a showroom or online, reflecting iVendi’s ‘connected retailing’ approach.
He added: “What we have enabled (retailers) to do, we believe, is to respond immediately to each lockdown and each easing of restrictions, so that their business was optimised to take advantage of the market at each point in time.
“Our £1.3bn of sales are genuinely omni-channel in this respect, and are an indication of how our technology has allowed seamless switching between the showroom and online sales for both consumer and dealer.”
Auto Trader reported this morning (March 15) that activity seen on its platform suggested that used car retailers were trading at 90% of their usual volumes during the first week of March, highlighting their ability to adapt to the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.
Its survey data also indicated that car buyers’ consumer confidence had now reached a record high.
The upbeat tone comes less than a fortnight after the Society of Motor Manufactures and Traders (SSMT) painted a bleak picture for new car retail franchisees.
SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, said that franchisees looked to be facing “a third, successive dismal ‘new plate month” amid ongoing lockdown restrictions.