Digital activity amongst dealers grew by a third during the first 10 days of the UK’s second lockdown, according to iVendi.

On 5 November, the number of proposed Digital Deals sent to customers by automotive retailers using the company’s TRANSACT product grew by 33%, coinciding with a 24% increase in the number of customers opening the deals.

James Tew, chief executive of iVendi, explained that as a result of the pandemic restrictions, dealers were utilising online tools much more proactively, as illustrated by the figures.

Tew commented: “Because of the imposition of lockdowns, they’ve become adept at changing the emphasis between showroom and digital activity, and the increase in Digital Deals being sent over the last week or so shows how quickly they are now capable of moving from one to the other.”

However, Tew believes that the 24% increase in deals being opened by customers is “the most interesting aspect” of the data. He continued: “The more deals that dealers send, the more that customers open, it appears. This shows how this proactive approach to digital is providing a valuable new sales channel during difficult trading conditions.”

Digital Deals were introduced by iVendi in TRANSACT, a feature the company has provided to its dealer customers free-of-charge since April.

According to Tew, the Digital Deals enable propositions created by sales people to be sent to potential buyers as the basis for an online negotiation. The product is “designed to replicate the subtleties of an in-person dialogue”.

The feature has seen great success, said Tew. “Vehicles totalling more than £65m on finance have been sold using Digital Deals during the last six months. We now have dealers who send them to every potential customer with whom they have contact because of the success they are seeing.

“The value of this strategy during the renewed lockdown, which is a more much proactive approach to digital than the traditional method of providing an online shopping journey for buyers, cannot be understated. It makes absolute sense alongside the adoption of home delivery or click and collect models.”