Close Brothers: Online presence ‘critical’ for dealers

91% of dealers believe having an online presence is important in order to drive business and generate growth, according to Close Brothers.

Close Brothers: Online presence ‘critical’ for dealers

James Broadhead, chief executive officer at Close Brothers Motor Finance, said that there had been a noticeable shift from the traditional face-to-face car sale, as dealers turn to digital platforms to drive consumers into dealerships.

Out of the 411 dealers surveyed last November, 64% said they were marketing their business on social media channels.

Despite this high figure, the survey found dealers were failing to realise the opportunities that these digital channels could provide for interacting and creating relationships with online motorists.

Over half (55%) of the dealers surveyed said they were not interacting with their consumers on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, indicating a need for dealers to expand their digital knowledge and skills.

40% said they saw a need for commercial digital/online sales skills to help develop their business.

Broadhead said: “As an industry we need to ensure we assist dealers in their understanding of digital channels and how they can implement them within their business. Consumers are now arriving at dealerships more informed than ever, with many turning to digital platforms to research their vehicle and the different finance options available before visiting the forecourt. For dealers, it is vital that they are able to take advantage of this and establish a relationship with these customers at the start of their buying process, or face missing out on crucial sales.”