UK auto retailers should strive to make organizing a test drive as easy as ordering an Uber, according to automotive e-commerce specialist drivvn.
Following the lifting of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions on car showrooms across the UK in April, many retailers have credited customers with the ability to touch and feel their next car purchase again before to buy with the 13.9% increase in registrations last month reported by the Society of Motor Manufacturers. and traders (SMMT).
Speaking to AM this week, Inchcape chief executive James Brearley said: âWe absolutely believe people want to test cars and have seen it in the spike in activity seen since the lockdown was lifted. “
Despite its online retail model, Polestar Cars also recognizes the importance of test drives, UK Managing Director Jonathan Goodman told AM it plans to host up to 30,000 regional events across the UK in 2021.
Research compiled by drivvn confirmed the auto industry’s point of view, with data from thousands of vehicle sales showing that buyers who test drive a vehicle are 50% more likely to buy.
He believes that improvements to the booking process for test drives – getting more customers into the cars – could be the key to boosting sales.
Websites analyzed by drivvn showed that 80% of car buyers were offered the option to book a test driving experience were directed to a standard inquiry form.
The majority of inquiries were answered incorrectly, with 55% of prospects not receiving a response after 48 hours, he said.
As a result, the e-commerce company has launched a new Booking Suite tool that allows users to book a test drive in three clicks by choosing a vehicle, selecting a local area and choosing a dealership or for the vehicle to be delivered, if remote experience is desired.
Jacqui Barker, sales manager at drivvn, said the transition from the online customer journey to the physical dealership experience needs to be âseamless,â citing an Uber-style process for maximum ease of use.
âBreaks in the process or a bad experience will lead to lost sales,â she said.
âIt’s critical that these connections evolve in a robust way as more of the vehicle buying journey takes place online.
âWe are all surrounded by the Internet of Things and consumers expect big brands to be able to deliver as well as other retail verticals.
âA frustrated customer will buy from a retailer who can do it right and is willing to pay for the experience.â
Drivvn recently reported that the rapid shift to digital retail during the pandemic has pushed sales through its platform to over Â£ 382million in 2020.