How vehicle search can help dealers minimise the impact of stock shortages

iVendi campaign

Advertorial: Make the most of search technology to match vehicles with customers even when stock is short

It might not sound like the most obvious solution but, here at iVendi, we believe that innovative search technology can play a key part in helping dealers match a vehicle to a buyer through the current stock shortages seen right across the industry.

Traditional vehicle search has barely moved on since the earliest days of the internet and is largely driven by the idea that car buyers already know what they want. However, it falls down badly when customers have a much less specific or informed viewpoint, when they use language that doesn’t fit in with the search engine’s very strict parameters, or when – as we see at the moment – stock is in very short supply.

We’ve been thinking about vehicle search for some time, and our ideas have been realised in a product called ENGAGE, part of our new Connected Retail range. Designed to turn old school search on its head, it reflects how buyers think about vehicles and recognises that they are not experts. Many don’t understand nuances between makes, models and vehicle types and so struggle to find a solution that meets their needs. ENGAGE is structured to enable these users to narrow the search so rapidly and successfully that the best choice becomes apparent within a few clicks.

The value of this when stock is in such short supply should be immediately apparent. A seven-seat car could mean a people carrier, a large SUV, a big estate or even a minivan. Many customers will have no preconceptions about which of these will suit their needs. Traditional search will generally cut out the breadth of options straightaway – but ENGAGE will show all the possible solutions from within your inventory.

It then helps the user focus their options by effectively learning about them through the search process to refine and personalise their results. A customer might type in ‘fast car with black alloys.’ For some people, that means a Fiat 500 Abarth, and for others, a Lamborghini. By looking at the type of car each user prefers, it works out which they are looking for and narrows what is shown.

ENGAGE helps match the right vehicle to the right buyer using factors such as personal preferences, practical needs and monthly budget. At a time when it is important to match every item of stock to a customer, this has very real value.

The iVendi Connected Retail range

ENGAGE is designed to help consumers find the right vehicle by rewriting the rules for online car, van and motorcycle search using the natural language adopted by the majority of vehicle buyers.

CONVERT facilitates the process of transforming initial online consumer interest in a vehicle into a sale through a range of essential features.

TRANSACT develops online consumer interest in a specific vehicle through to a final transaction while managing the complexities of the sales process and includes iVendi’s innovative Digital Deal.

CONNECT is a fully connected platform that delivers an omni-channel retail solution for vehicles and financial services, connecting the consumer, retailer and lender together at all stages of the vehicle buying journey.    

James Tew is iVendi CEO

Founded in 2009, iVendi is the market leader in motor retail technology both in the UK and internationally. With a connected, 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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