End-to-end digital processes – where stock is bought and retailed online – have started to reach a tipping point in 2019 where they are becoming the norm.
More used car retailers of all kinds are spending less and less time away from their desks as digital processes become more comprehensive and reliable.
Vicky Gardner, head of remarketing, said: “We know, from our experience with the 3,000 traders who use 1link Disposal Network platform, that use of digital continues to grow.
“However, what is interesting about the last few months is that there appears to be more interest in not just acquiring stock online but also digitally retailing as much stock as possible. Fully, end-to-end digital processes are becoming much more common.
“This is being driven by a number of convergent trends that mean we could be reaching a tipping point. Digital stock acquisition and digital retailing systems have now reached a high level of maturity. The chances of encountering significant problems in buying used cars and vans and then selling them – all online – are now low.
“Additionally, margins remain under pressure for retailers and end-to-end digital processes are cheaper to operate than traditional routes. This makes them very attractive at the moment.”
Vicky said that there remained some structural problems, however, and that the best retailers maintained a high physical presence.
“When it comes to buying stock, we have always maintained that buying at an auction will always have a place because it provides a feel for the market that is not really available from your desk.
“Similarly, while more and more used car buyers are comfortable with buying online, it remains important for most retailers to maintain a high level of physical presence. Most car buyers in 2019 want to undertake a mixed digital and physical journey, and retailers must maintain the ability to meet that need.”