Online and offline car sales must be joined up, expert says

Digital will not displace the importance of the traditional offline sales culture in car dealerships, an industry expert has said.

Speaking to AMonline, Ian Plummer, head of sales operations at Volkswagen UK, stated that while an online strategy was certainly vital to bring in new customers, the existing “bricks and people” approach would remain critical. Importantly, he stresses that there must a joined up approach between online and offline sales channels.

The same is true for the dealerships themselves; many will look to obtain an initial motor trade insurance quote online, however it is still advised that the firm then speaks to expert brokers such as ChoiceQuote to ensure the quoted policy sufficiently meets all of the business’ needs.

Mr Plummer says the focus needs to be on creating a seamless transfer from one platform to the other. What a customer looks at and does online should be carried over to the physical dealership so that when they walk into the showroom they can pick up from where they left off at home.

He explained: “There is typically a disconnect between the online experience and the physical showroom. There were too many stops and starts with customers having either to re-key information or provide details to retailers which had already been entered online.

“Blending the digital and physical means we have created a much more joined up process which has strengthened the relationship between the customer, the retailer and the brand. The customer walks into the showroom and simply picks up from where they left off online. The link is unbroken.”