Why connected retailing is the future for the industry

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Advertorial: Dealers and motor finance providers need to adapt their business models to win new business and sell more vehicles in the new normal. iVendi has the tools to make this happen

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’s 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.

So, what does this mean as we look to emerge from the coronavirus crisis later this year? Simply, that those involved in motor retail will need to provide an equally positive and complementary experience for buyers digitally and in the showroom. The question facing many motor retailers, however, is whether the technology they are currently using can deliver these sales processes.

This is especially a problem online during the repeated lockdowns we have seen. The fact is that many digital motor retail processes are very prescriptive. Customers enter the journey at one end, go through a series of defined steps, and hopefully pop out of the other end with a car. That’s great if the process is the one that the customer needs and that the dealer wants to offer. What’s very often lacking though, is any kind of flexibility. If it’s not the right path, there is no option for change. The technology is definitely limiting the sales potential.

This creates a situation where dealers often became passive, unable to attempt to move sales forward in the same way they would in a showroom situation. To us, it’s unacceptable that dealers become bystanders in their own online sales processes. What iVendi has done with the new products that we have introduced over the last year – Engage, Convert and Transact – is empower them to be proactive.

These solutions place retailers in the driving seat of the sales process in exactly the same manner as in the showroom, providing the tools needed to create processes that are brilliantly effective for both them and for their customers.

There’s much discussion at the moment about the new normal and what it might look like. We believe that, at a moment when consumers expect absolute flexibility and the ongoing effects of the pandemic demand it, the world we’re describing here is the new normal – and connected retailing is the right approach for this world.

[Sub] The iVendi connected retail range

1. Engage

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.

2. 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, a buy-it-now button, and consumer-centred finance product information and videos. It can also capture part exchange details and provide valuations as well as introducing iVendi’s innovative stock engine technology, which proactively checks for data conflicts in vehicle identification information.

3. Transact

Develops online consumer interest in a specific vehicle through to a final transaction while managing the complexities of the sales process. It also enable 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.

Visit www.ivendi.com, e-mail enquiries@ivendi.com or call 0345 226 0503.