Why a robust ecommerce strategy has never been more important for dealerships

INSIGHT | 29 JUL, 2020

As we slowly emerge on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic, dealerships—like most businesses around the world—are facing some challenging questions. How will they continue to run successfully and bring in trades with limited contact with customers? How will they keep delivering the personalised service they have built their reputations on? And even more worryingly, how will they afford to pay their premises’ rent and staff wages once the government furlough scheme ends?

Technology could provide the answer. A well thought out e-commerce strategy has never been more important, as consumers want to buy and research things online without leaving their home. Dealerships without digital should consider adapting their model to remain relevant.

Ecommerce: how can dealerships reap the benefits?

After months of being at home and sourcing retail products online, people’s buying habits have shifted, and their needs have, too. Used cars may be hugely appealing due to public transport restrictions and apprehension about investing in a new car during a period of global economic uncertainty.

So, where should dealerships start? Gone are the days of a quick website update to keep things current. In today’s fast-paced world, the increasing use of mobile is changing the purchasing behaviour of many businesses. Instead of being restricted to sitting at a computer, purchases can now be made online anywhere, anytime from a smart device.

Fleet companies are faced with a backlog of end of contract cars to sell, and it is forcing them to relook at their current remarketing strategies including online sales. Dealers are starting to look to source inventory online more and more, and it provides an incredibly fast and efficient way to source inventory from a wide variety of sellers.

Even though government is easing lockdown restrictions, online sales and services are paramount to survival. We have all heard about the internet taking down the physical retail industry. For dealers, auctions are the epicentre of their business—the way they source and sell their stock. But human-to-human contact, while very personable, does net lend to current social distancing guidelines. People are more reluctant to step inside auction halls, and due to staff shortages, dealers have less time to spare for traveling there and back. So, a platform that takes this process online is perfect for the here and now. It makes it easier and faster to buy and sell cars in what is our ‘new normal’ of social distancing.

ADESA Upstream might be the saving grace for dealers all over the country in the next few months. It provides a faster, smarter, easier way to source stock, and can also help them dispose of any unwanted cars on their books, preventing further costly depreciation. Plus, ADESA provides both our in-lane and online buyers with accurate and transparent condition reports and provenence, providing ADESA Upstream buyers with confidence and peace-of-mind.

ADESA’s digital model allows cars to be sold from any location, significantly reducing vehicle movements and speeding up the wholesale process – which is ideal for all involved. Our online platform is a great example illustrating how digital is the future, and a way we can all stay connected and open for business in such challenging times.

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