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What can we learn from Motor Trade eCommerce in 2020?

What can we learn from Motor Trade eCommerce in 2020?

Article published: 02 February 2021

2020 was the year of Click & Collect for UK automotive dealers, with COVID 19 pushing the industry forward. Bluesky look back through a year's worth of data on our flexible eCommerce platform, AutoTransact, to see how buyers interact with checkout functionality.

Click & Collect for car dealers

2020 was the first year that we've seen a huge interest in online vehicle purchase - from both dealers and the end customer. This was also the year that here at Bluesky Interactive we launched the AutoTransact online checkout, perfectly timed for new customer behaviours and changing dealer priorities.

As dealer's showrooms became almost entirely online, our incredibly flexible platform was able to support thousands of transactions on millions of pounds worth of new and used cars. As you can imagine, this level of activity gives us a huge source of data for insights - and so today we are using that information to analyse customer behaviour.

Even better, we are sharing the results with you right here, right now. 

What times of the day do people buy used cars online?

Cars sell 24 hours a day

Interestingly, cars have sold at all hours of the day - but sales and reservations definitely tail off after midnight.

You should make sure that your processes allow for night orders to be quickly processed the next morning.

4pm is peak car-buying time

Across websites of all shapes and sizes, sales and reservations hit their max at 4pm as people get bored at work.

You can use these stats to your advantage if you need to man live chat support, which can be integrated into AutoTransact.

In-work beats out-of-work hours

There are more orders within standard office hours than out-of-hours.

But don't write off the evenings - there is a strong transaction level right up until 11pm. 

What days do customers buy cars on a dealer's online checkout?

Saturdays consistently sell more cars than any other day - but there is still a strong performance on all other days of the week, with Friday and Monday both following close behind. As for which day has the fewest sales - Sunday is bringing up the rear.

Interestingly, Tuesday has the highest number of website visitors, but they tend not to convert as highly - are we seeing people early on in the purchase cycle who are only ready to commit come the weekend? Or is this an insight in buyer behaviour offline - does this tally up with on-site tire kickers?


How do customers interact with the different purchase options?

Nearly 5% of users change the payment type within the checkout

With most dealers choosing to use payment type specific buttons on their website (i.e. reserve now, or complete cash purchase), it is interesting to see that customers can still be undecided. 5% of checkout visitors are using the payment type selector to change their options within the checkout journey.

Top tip:

Are you "foreshadowing" the checkout experience so that customers know what to expect?

Only 7% of total orders contain part exchanges

Do valuation and part exchange customers prefer to experience the "haggle"? For the opportunity of a better price, we think they might. This explains why only 7% of purchases and reservations contain part exchange valuations, even though AutoTransact facilitates uplifted valuations and multiple different valuation types and providers.

Top tip:

If it can work with your processes, make the PX journey as easy and straightforward as possible.

How much should a reservation deposit be?

We have dealers charging a wide range of reservation fees - from percentages of vehicle price through to bargain £10 fees. 

Evidence suggests that the online vehicle reservation fee sweet spot is £99, with more deposits being paid at this level than any other.

However, if you have an unusual stock profile or differing business priorities, don't be put off - we see deposits taken across all fee levels, including some at over £1,000!

Are you ready to sell cars online?

Find out more about our impressive AutoTransact solution and how it can help deliver transactions across reservation, full purchase, finance and more.

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