Motor trade industry advised to embrace digital strategies

The motor trade industry needs to place greater emphasis on hooking and serving customers via online and digital channels, industry experts have warned.

The way customers are purchasing cars or insurance for their vehicles has changed dramatically over the past 10 years and companies selling these things need to cater to the modernising target audience. From online marketing through to making websites mobile and tablet friendly and introducing live chat options, today’s consumer expects a different standard of convenience and customer service.

This extends to the way that car dealerships and independent garages are themselves wishing to procure motor trade insurance. The modern way is to shop around on websites and make a decision based on quotes you get online; however, very few companies offer the facility for online quotes for motor trade insurance and, while it can be a useful starting point on the ChoiceQuote website, the best prices are often achieved by speaking to an expert over the phone, something that will also ensure you get a motor trade insurance policy that meets all of your company’s specific requirements.

Ian Plummer, head of sales operations at Volkswagen UK, says the automotive industry needs to focus on “blended retailing”, combining an online presence with traditional sales techniques. Importantly, very often the first step for a company selling new cars, used cars, or car services is to hook the customers online. Having an accessible, easy-to-navigate website that functions on any device will be key to engage the modern day customer; this can then be converted into sales.

In an article on AM Online, Tim Smith, commercial director at GForces, advises: “The consumer journey starts online and their mind is pretty much made up before they visit the dealership. Search is dominated by Google. Dealers that don’t get their Google strategy right will be at a woeful disadvantage. ”