A new iVendi product provided free of charge to coronavirus crisis-hit vehicle retailers has been used to manage and negotiate more than £63m of car, van and motorcycle digital deals in the last ten weeks.

TRANSACT was made available to the online motor retail market leader’s direct retailer customer base from April 20. It is designed to develop online consumer interest in a specific vehicle through to a final transaction while managing the complexities of the sales process, either online or in the showroom.

Development work on the product began in Autumn 2019 and it was originally due to be brought to market later this year. However, the launch was accelerated by iVendi in the first month of lockdown because it was believed to be highly appropriate for dealers during current circumstances.

CEO James Tew said: “TRANSACT seemed to us like very much the right solution for the moment and these results show that belief to have been correct.

“By launching our very latest technology during this time we’ve allowed dealers to maximise and progress sales as far as possible during lockdown and the current, still-compromised conditions that have followed. In total, it has been used to manage and negotiate an impressive £63m of digital deals.

“We worked very hard to make TRANSACT both results-driven and easy-to-use and the fact that a wide range of dealers have adopted it, even during a period when many were effectively non-operational, is very pleasing. It can now credibly claim to be the most significant online motor retailing platform in the UK today.

“We will continue to waive any charges to our dealer customers until we feel the car retail sector is out of the woods, however long that turns out to be.”

James explained that one of the key points that had made TRANSACT suitable for the coronavirus crisis was the way it enabled digital deals to be constructed by the retailer and pushed online into a dedicated customer account area with effect of digitally emulating a traditional face-to-face conversation.

“We’re claiming this kind of digital deal as an industry first. The product enables flexible negotiation over price and other key factors, the sale of value-added products and the ability to present multiple finance offers with instant decisioning.

“Our research shows that 69% of used car sales don’t happen at the advertised price. There is price negotiation, warranties are upgraded, paint protection is added and so on. TRANSACT takes account of this and provides the means for the conversations to occur digitally as well as in the showroom.

“All of this is delivered in a very natural and seamless fashion that, we believe, combines the best aspects of conversational and digital deal-making for both the vehicle retailer and the vehicle buyer. For dealers who are currently finding themselves adopting reserve-and-collect and home delivery trading models, these new and highly effective channels of communication have obvious relevance.”

James added that in terms of delivering results for dealers both during and after the crisis, a key point was that TRANSACT didn’t require the dealer to change their website because it would work highly effectively within existing online infrastructures.

iVendi has launched three products in 2020 – ENGAGE, CONVERT and TRANSACT – that together form a comprehensive online motor retail journey for all vehicle retailers from small dealers to multi-national businesses. CONVERT was introduced in January and ENGAGE was brought to market in July.