iVendi is preparing to deliver plug-in software that allows its dealer partners to facilitate online car sales via a 'buy' button described as "the holy grail of online motor retailing".
The introduction of the new functionality aims to revolutionise the online buying process by bringing together a one-click finance function with retailer's current online platform in what the company believes will be an industry first when it is rolled out during Q1 of 2018.
IVendi’s chief executive James Tew said: “This is very much the holy grail of online motor retailing.
“Buying a car online is not like buying a pair of jeans. It is a process that requires everything from handling a part exchange to motor finance.
“Over the eight years that iVendi has been in existence, we have been working on each of the key elements of the process and, by early next year, will be in a position to deliver a complete solution to dealers and others.
“We are now at the stage where we can incorporate a simple but important feature into the platform – a ‘buy’ button.
“Getting to this point has been a long journey but we confident that this product is absolutely right for this moment.
“In the same way as a High Street retailer might move into online sales by using e-commerce technology like Shopify on their web site, dealers will now be able to use iVendi. It really is a genuine step-change.”
Tew said that a trial version of the platform had been in operation with up to 500 dealers since Spring of 2017 and it was currently handling sales in excess of £2 million per month.
He said: “To anyone who still says that online motor finance doesn’t have a role to play, we can point at this very substantial figure, one which is growing month-on-month. This is a genuine market satisfying genuine customers.”
An important feature of the platform will be that it can handle continual switching back-and-forth from online to in-showroom sales for each individual customer.
Tew explained: “Our view is that there are a handful of completely online sales and a handful of completely offline sales but in the real world, most customers will, for example, perhaps look at stock online, try out online finance options, call the dealer to ask some questions, play with the finance some more, go for a test drive, and so on.
“The developed platform offers complete flexibility in this respect, with each potential sale saved in an individual account so that it can be revisited and modified by customer and dealer as their preferences and needs dictate on and offline.”
“For most dealers, creating something this flexible, comprehensive and effective would be out of the question.”
IVendi this month appointed Brett Ward as head of online motor retailing to oversee taking the new release of the platform to market.