Vindis Group has launched an ‘Express Car Buying’ online retail platform promising up-front, fixed pricing, online finance and home delivery of all its franchised brands and used car stock.
Group sales and marketing director, Peter Toop, told AM that the platform had been in development for three years and, although some development is still ongoing, he conceded that he was “really excited” about the potential of the new offering.
“We are really excited about this project and have already seen some great customer feedback and unexpectedly, some customers completing their entire purchase online”, he said.
New, used and stock vehicles are all listed on the AM100 retail group’s new platform.
Vindis’ move into online retail across its network of 20 Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda Seat, Ducati, Bentley and VW Commercial Vehicles sites follows an exponential increase in car buyers’ demand for online retail during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The trend is expected to fuel the rise of digital disruptors like Cazoo and Carzam, launched by Big Motoring World chief executive Peter Waddell and former Cox Automotive president of international operations John Bailey.
Vindis Group’s Express Car Buying platform allows customers to pay in cash or by finance, with PCP, PCH and HP options available.
Customers can then opt to hace their vehicle delivered to their home or collect from the dealership.
The Cambridgeshire-based business is planning on hiring staff to handle the anticipated growth in online enquiries.
Toop said that the expectation was that the solution would result in a better balance of its “bricks and clicks offering”.
“For us, this isn’t about moving to sell all vehicles online, far more about joining the online and offline customer journey’s together or turning clicks to bricks and having a way in which to serve all customers, in which ever way they want,” he said.
“A customer can complete elements of their journey online and elements in the showroom, concluding their purchase in the way they feel most comfortable.”
Toop told AM that Vindis’ ecommerce project is “far from finished”, revealing that development work is now underway with Bluesky Interactive to build a new-look front-end for the online sales platform to tie-in its appearance seamlessly with the rest of the group’s website.
The completion of a snagging list and the upscaling of the group’s digital team to cope with the expected volume of online enquiries – including covering ‘out of hours’ periods – are also a priority, he revealed.
Toop added: “In addition to these, we are working on CRM integration, implementation of the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and Bentley Brands and getting upfront pricing live for all brands.”