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AM Awards 2021 winner: Best New Product or Service, GForces’ NetDirector Auto-e

GForces sales director Paul Hilton (centre) picked up the award from AM editor Tim Rose

The COVID-19 pandemic turned 2020 into a year of innovation, as COVID restrictions forced motor retail to make rapid progress.

Our AM Awards 2021 Best New Product or Service award winner, GForces, played a critical role in supporting that transition.

Many dealers have now embraced online sales – or omnichannel at least – and the GForces NetDirector Auto-e platform has been supporting their success, with enhancements and evolutions since its launch in 2019.

Without e-commerce, many dealerships would have been unable to mitigate the damage that long periods of showroom lockdown caused to their profitability.

In 2020, the platform was revised to enable payments via Apple Pay and Google Pay, to facilitate end-to-end commercial vehicle sales including VAT calculations and rules, to support affinity schemes, to integrate Google My Business reviews and to provide automated email alerts when a shopper abandoned their ‘basket’.

Allowing for numerous third-party integrations, and customisation of the software, GForces seeks out partnerships with other suppliers providing services demanded by dealers.

One example is Phyron, which enables dealers using NetDirector Auto-e to display AI-powered automated videos for every vehicle stocked, saving time and money.

GForces’ head of brand and communications, Francesca Morgan, says: “The latent demand for online car shopping has long been there, but the missing ingredient for dealers has been the easy-to-use, seamless systems for consumers to interact and transact with.

“Omnichannel combination is essential for a seamless and positive car buying experience and leading-edge technology is needed to complement offline channels to deliver sales success”.

Used by almost a third of all franchised car retailers, Auto-e supported more than £500mworth of car sales in 2020, and a car was bought every nine minutes.

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