Bearsted, United Kingdom, 10 January 2022 - By embracing a digitally driven omnichannel strategy, UK car dealers achieved an increase of nearly 50% in online car sales on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, according to data released by industry-leading automotive ecommerce solution provider, GForces.
Evidencing their ever increasing confidence to reserve and purchase cars online, whether last-minute presents for loved ones, or treating themselves during the holidays, UK car buyers spent over 30% more during the two weeks over Christmas and New Year this year, than in 2020.
GForces, part of the Automotive Transformation Group (ATG), supports 1,772 UK dealers. Across its customer portfolio it saw the average price of cars purchased on Christmas Day rise significantly to £24,535 from £18,132 in 2020. At the same time, many other interesting and surprising trends emerged. Among them a £75,000 Range Rover Sport being the most expensive car purchased on Christmas Day itself.
The data also outlined the considerable potential in car dealers optimising their website with mobile capabilities. 60% of festive car purchases occurred on mobile phones, a remarkable increase from just 24% in 2020, illustrating that consumers value the accessibility and simplicity of shopping from the palm of their hand. Another key trend to emerge is the growing use of Apple Pay to reserve a vehicle, with twice as many car buyers using the payment method on Christmas Day of 2021 compared to the previous year.
The findings, obtained through the company’s NetDirector® Business Intelligence platform, show that there is a strong need for carmakers and retailers to embrace the potential of ecommerce in automotive sales settings, not just as a business essential during lockdown showroom closure periods, but to meet the desires of today’s car buyers seeking to research and buy cars online with the minimum of effort and fuss, and complete transparency, in the same way they do other consumer goods.
Gone are the days when car buyers are willing to spend hours visiting multiple showrooms across town when all the insight they need is in their fingertips. Consumer confidence to buy online is rapidly increasing, as is their willingness to make large ticket purchases, with more dealers now offering a seamless and enjoyable transaction journey, supported by ATG’s market-leading omnichannel solutions.
“Over the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the shift to online sales within the automotive sector,” said Tim Smith, Chief Revenue Officer at Automotive Transformation Group. “This Christmas data is the latest in a long list of findings that clearly confirm the growing importance of adopting an omnichannel approach to meet modern car buyer needs and increase profitability. During the festive period, when physical showrooms were closed for multiple days, significant car sales were made online. Dealers that operate with just physical showrooms will be left behind by those that are innovating and adapting to the times. Leading-edge digital technology, designed to complement offline channels is essential to delivering sales success, as well as optimum customer satisfaction and loyalty.”
GForces celebrated the three-year anniversary of its multi-award-winning ecommerce solution, NetDirector® Auto-e, in November 2021. Developed specifically for automotive retailers, the ground-breaking digital technology enables automotive retailers to leverage a complete omnichannel retail solution and engage effortlessly and efficiently with customers online and in the showroom. The platform supports 1,772 dealers today, and has helped 80,247 car buyers in the past three years. For more information on NetDirector® Auto-e, visit: www.gforces.co.uk