There has been quite a shift in what customers expect from vehicle buying journeys over the last couple of years – something driven by factors ranging from changing retail patterns during the pandemic through to new propositions offered by disruptors entering the used car sector.

It’s a trend we’ve been watching closely at iVendi and our latest thinking is contained in a new white paper that is proving to be one of our most popular ever. Called Better Buying Journeys, it’s designed to help dealers thrive by adapting to this new environment.

As a taster, we’ve included six of the ideas we discuss in the document, ranging from simple actions to strategic initiatives, that we believe will help you better meet the needs of today’s car buyers.

  • Customers prefer a hybrid buying journey. The appeal of a mixed real world and digital journey is that it allows customers to pause and come back to their purchase as many times as they desire, at a time that suits them. Buying a car is a complex process and unwinding the many elements – choosing a vehicle, sorting finance, adding options – to make them more manageable is at the core of why hybrid journeys work so well. Your showroom and technology should enable this approach.
  • Value-added products are a key online profit opportunity. We are seeing many dealers massively increase online penetration of warranties, service plans and other value-added products by integrating them into our Digital Deal propositions. These products can be discussed on the phone or in-person before the deal is sent using a digital concierge approach where support and expert advice is given to the customer to guide them through the process
  • Allow reservations online with the use of a deposit. This signals a clear intention to buy but also creates time for the consumer to potentially resolve all the issues around their purchase – selling their current car, agreeing the part-exchange, accessing settlement figures and more. However, beware of long reservation times that take vehicles out of your stock listing.
  • Test drives are a big advantage for dealers. Make them bookable online.
  • Are you enabling part exchanges online? This has traditionally been a stumbling block in the digital journey. Estimates leave room for negotiation but don’t allow a purchase to be concluded online while guaranteed prices can put the buyer off. A combination may be best – with the ability to ‘appeal’ online if the consumer believes their vehicle is worth more. This allows the process to continue.
  • Go multi-lender to see higher penetration. We see higher sales of both vehicles and motor finance where consumers are shown not just a range of finance products but a range of lenders. Promote transparency by showing your entire lending panel online.

For more information on how you can level up your hybrid journey, download your copy of Better Buying Journeys here.

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.

About iVendi

Founded in 2009, iVendi is the market leader in connected motor retail technology, creating digital products that help customers to buy vehicles more easily and dealers to sell them more efficiently, both online and in the showroom. The company’s technology interacts with around five million consumers every month and thousands of motor retailers, manufacturers and finance providers.

For more information, please contact Ivendi via the company profile.