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GForces reveals bumper online car sales over festive period

Car buyers looking at a vehicle on tablet

Car retailers experienced a 32% year-on-year (YOY) increase in online sales in the two weeks over the Christmas and New Year Period.

According to new data from GForces, dealers also achieved an increase of nearly 50% in online car sales on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and the number of cars sold on Christmas Day increased by 48% compared to 2020, with Christmas Eve purchases up by 49%.

Across GForces customer portfolio, it saw the average price of cars purchased on Christmas Day rise to £24,535 from £18,132 in 2020.

Among them a £75,000 Range Rover Sport being the most expensive car purchased on Christmas Day itself.

Tim Smith, chief revenue officer at Automotive Transformation Group, said: “Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the shift to online sales within the automotive sector.

“This Christmas data is the latest in a long list of findings that clearly confirm the growing importance of adopting an omnichannel approach to meet modern car buyer needs and increase profitability.

“During the festive period, when physical showrooms were closed for multiple days, significant car sales were made online.

“Dealers that operate with just physical showrooms will be left behind by those that are innovating and adapting to the times.

“Leading-edge digital technology, designed to complement offline channels is essential to delivering sales success, as well as optimum customer satisfaction and loyalty.”

GForces, part of the Automotive Transformation Group (ATG), supports 1,772 UK dealers.

The group said said the increase is due to dealers embracing a digitally driven omnichannel strategy.

The data also revealed that 60% of festive car purchases occurred on mobile phones, an increase from 24% in 2020.

GForces said another key trend to emerge is the growing use of Apple Pay to reserve a vehicle, with twice as many car buyers using the payment method on Christmas Day of 2021 compared to the previous year.

The company said the findings, obtained through the company’s NetDirector Business Intelligence platform, show that there is a need for carmakers and retailers to embrace the potential of ecommerce in automotive sales settings to meet the desires of today’s car buyers seeking to research and buy cars online.

GForces was named Best New Product or Service at the 2021 AM Awards, after playing a “critical role” in supporting the transition to online sales during the COVID-19 lockdowns. 

Entries for the 2022 AM Awards are now open and car dealerships, workshops, automotive suppliers and OEMs have until mid-February to complete their submissions.

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