There are some things you wouldn’t think of selling online – cars would be one of them!
But the rise of online car sales portals like Cazoo, CarWow and What Car. It seems there’s an advert on T.V for a new online car sales portal almost every day at the moment. Plus Auto Trader is now a big presence online having started as a paper magazine.
Isn’t Buying A Car “Touchy Feely”?
But, surely, buying a car is a very touchy, feely thing?
You want to smell the car, feel the paint, give it a test drive and press the pedal to the metal to see what it feels like. Is it a smooth drive? Are there any scratches, bumps or bruises? What’s the acceleration like? Do you like the way the controls work, the layout of the dash board.
Yes, it’s definitely a touchy feely thing buying a car!
Some people use smell, some touch, some the look, but it’s the senses that buy a car, no matter if you auditory, kinesthetic or visual.
Yet, online car sales portals abound!
Why Do Online Car Sales Work?
It’s an interesting question. I get the idea that you can sit on the sofa and scroll through a whole series of potential purchases and then settle on the one you want. And, certainly in these uncertain Covid times, it may be preferable than going to a potentially crowded car showroom.
But, what about the highly personal service offered by your friendly car showroom sales person. Now everyone knows that the second hand car salesman doesn’t exactly have the best rep in Town. But a good sales person will find out what you are looking for, what’s important for you in your car and then gently nudge you in the right direction (obviously of the deal that has the most profit).
O.K, I jest to a degree. But, I have always thought that car sales was such a personal matter.
I talked to Mark Duncan at aCar2Go and established used car dealership in Aylesbury, just outside of London in the United Kingdom.
I was really surprised at what he told me.
No Damage From Online?
Mark’s view was that he was not seeing any decline in sales because of the explosion of Online car sales websites.
I asked why this is?
“It’s two fold I think”, he says thoughtfully. “Firstly, we offer a very personal service, we don’t try and pull the wool over people’s eyes, we’re totally open and honest – transparent. Our customers know this and most of our customers are repeat customers. They come back to buy a car for their wife, their son, daughter. They also refer their friends to us as they trust our judgement and advice”.
Loyal Client Base
“So we have a very loyal client base and because of that we are not exposed to the new online dealers. I think they are taking most of their business from the massive second hand dealing rooms like Car Giant. And, the reason for this is that their custom was, without wishing to be condescending about it, the end of the market that was most price sensitive. Places like that offered price and nothing else, they were cattle markets and their custom is flocking to Cazoo and the likes”
“Our customer base has remained firm and there is nothing as strong as a recommendation. I know if I get one from a trusted friend, that is where I will go.