Sponsored by iVendi
Why connected retailing is the future for motor retail
Since the start of the pandemic, businesses involved in motor retail have had to learn to switch between extremes of online and showroom-based activity - or any point in-between - at a moment’s notice.
This is a crucial development. It has changed the relationship between those two spheres, almost certainly permanently. Dealers and motor finance providers who saw themselves as digital-first or showroom-first concerns now exist only in niches. Almost everyone has adopted a hybrid approach and there is a growing and widespread recognition that the majority of car, van and motorcycle buyers use both paths at some time in their buying journey and expect to be able to switch between these two channels at will.
Certainly, there is plenty of evidence of this. For example, the average car buyer spends about 270% more time online than in the showroom (reference, CMO Survey) but 80% still want to complete a test drive before buying (reference, What Car?). These are not contradictory impulses. Instead they are the best use of each channel at different moments in the purchasing process.
So what does this mean in 2021 as we emerge from the coronavirus crisis? Simply, that those involved in motor retail will need to provide an equally positive and complementary experience for buyers digitally and in the showroom.
So, it makes sense to consolidate the systems used to handle their needs into one solution and, at iVendi, we believe that now is the right time for a concept that we call ‘connected retailing.’ Our new, integrated range of products - ENGAGE, CONVERT and TRANSACT - link retailer, lender and consumer at every stage of the buying process. Through the phases of research, decision and purchase, they are uniformly effective both online and at the dealership, eliminating the rigidity of most end-to-end motor retail technology.
Now that we can finally look to put the worst effects of the pandemic behind us, there is much discussion at the moment among everyone involved in the selling of cars, vans and motorcycles about the new normal and what it might look like.
We believe that connected retail is the answer to this question. For consumers in the third decade of the 21st century, it provides what they now automatically expect - to be able to shop for what they want, how they want – including their motor finance needs.
James Tew, CEO of iVendi. Credit: Ginger Pixie Photography
The iVendi connected retail range
ENGAGE is designed to help consumers find the right vehicle. It rewrites the rules for online car, van and motorcycle search by completely turning on its head the process through which relevant dealer stock is shown to the consumer. Instead of rigid dropdown menus driven by the assumption that people already know which model they want, it uses the natural language adopted by the majority of vehicle buyers, narrowing their enquiry rapidly and successfully.
CONVERT facilitates the process of transforming initial online consumer interest in a vehicle into a sale with key features including a reservation tool, finance eligibility checking, finance application processing, multi-lender quoting, and consumer-centred finance product information and videos. It also introduces iVendi’s innovative stock engine technology, which proactively checks for data conflicts in vehicle identification information.
TRANSACT develops online consumer interest in a specific vehicle through to a final transaction while managing the complexities of the sales process. It also enables deals to be created online in the same way as a face-to-face conversation with flexible negotiation over price, finance and other key factors such as value added products, using something iVendi calls a “digital deal” to enable a natural, ongoing style of negotiation.
Founded in 2009, iVendi is the market leader in motor retail technology both in the UK and internationally. With a modular product range which engages consumers, converts buyers and manages transactions, iVendi technology interacts with around five million consumers every month and thousands of motor retailers, manufacturers and finance providers. The company is based in Colwyn Bay.
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