Stats show dealers learning to love online car buying

Independent car auction specialist G3 Remarketing has recorded a 30% increase in lots sold online, when compared to the same period last year.

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The growing digital presence measured in the first half of 2018, follows the firm’s investment in the creation of retail-like standards for buyers.

The introduction of enhanced HD imagery with internal and external 360o videos for all stock that pass through the hall, is said to have contributed to a 16% rise in overall total bids, in comparison to last year’s figures. Total lots offered have also grown by 13%, with an additional 23% uplift in vehicles sold on auction day.

G3 has further improved buyers’ digital experience by introducing a live chat support function on the website. Auctioneers can now deliver instant insights to guide dealers as to the best cars currently available and, with usage typically spiking by 75% during sale times, additional staff have been allocated to manage the demand when auctions are underway.

Commenting on the latest statistics, joint director Matt Dale said: “At the start of 2018 we embarked upon a new customer service drive, particularly for the buyers who engage in our auctions online. The goal was to heighten confidence in the quality of vehicles we have on offer, without anyone needing to attend a physical sale to see the vehicles for themselves.

“Our industry-first live chat provides direct access to a member of our team, in real time, as questions arise. This has undoubtedly played a key part in our stronger online performance for the first half the year. The team has also invested time in our buyer marketing, with social media and email alerts to highlight star cars ahead of sales, for example.”

“With our ‘going the extra mile’ initiative, we have seen incremental improvements right across the business.” continued Matt. “For example, we now work smarter, have managed to source service histories for 28% more of our lots, and the number of cars sold with at least two keys has gone up by 196%.

“This quality-led approach has cascaded down throughout the entire business – we’ve also revved up our management system and booking-in procedures, to ensure that we are working closer with vendors and their customers. There’s lots going on!”

Earlier this year the car auction firm reported it was on track to top £80 million in vehicle sales, with a 14% uplift in hammer value figures for the first quarter of 2018. This percentage has now increased to 44% for the first six months, when compared to 2017.

Despite the predicted lull that was expected with sales clashing with the world cup and the continued UK heatwave, G3’s first Tuesday auction of July saw online bids up 144% when compared to the previous week. Since then, the team has broken its online sales record with its biggest auction of the year, where hammer values reached £1.58m and saw an increase of 95% attendance compared to average.

“We’ve had a great start to the year, so expectations for the remainder of 2018 are high – we have some exciting things on the horizon!” added Matt.

G3 Remarketing holds up to 14 online and in-hall auction sales each month, with First Response being one of the most recent vendors to have come on board.