Bluesky Interactive is one of the leading automotive technology companies, producing bespoke websites and cutting-edge products and solutions from its three UK offices.
Its staff are also nice people and specialists in their field, with a collaborative work ethic focused on developing long-term relationships with their clients.
Its e-commerce solution, AutoTransact, was released prior to the pandemic and has transacted millions of pounds for car dealers of all shapes and sizes.
With modules for reservations, valuations, full purchase and finance, along with a raft of settings and options, it is truly flexible – and what’s more, you don’t have to have a Bluesky website to be able to take advantage of it.
Here, Bluesky explains how, as the creator of the most flexible platform on the market, available on any website (regardless of provider), it is ideally placed to help dealerships understand the key considerations for their e-commerce strategy.
What to consider when building an automotive e-commerce presence
In its rawest form, e-commerce for car dealers can be very simple – especially when you’re paying a fixed deposit on a vehicle.
However, dealer groups with multiple showrooms, each with individual resources and processes, will find that it doesn’t take much for the e-commerce setup process to become quite complicated.
Bluesky Interactive understands the complications and questions around e-commerce more than most.
In the past 18 months, it has developed and launched its own in-house vehicle checkout platform, AutoTransact, which has been built specifically for the needs and requirements of the motor trade – in all its complexity!
What should my reservation fee be?
The first question you’ll likely ask when considering venturing into e-commerce is ‘How much should I charge?’.
You’ll need to find the sweet spot of reservation fees – not so low that people pay it without any intention to commit, but not so high that you put people off.
This amount will be influenced by your stock profile – Bluesky dealers specialising in high-end luxury vehicles, for example, typically opt for a reservation fee approaching £500, whereas other dealers find £99 tends to be the ideal amount.
Looking beyond ‘just’ reservations
Reservation fees are undoubtedly the bread and butter of UK car dealers’ online purchase strategies – but they don’t have to be your full offering.
AutoTransact ensures that you can switch on modules as your business is ready for them – meaning you’ll need to consider whether you want to enable full cash purchase, end-to-end finance applications and much more.
With the number of complete cash purchases on dealer sites rising every month, now is the time to be considering whether your business is ready.
Facilitating delivery and collection
To offer the best service to your customers, you’ll want to decide whether you’re only offering dealership collection or whether you want to offer something more sophisticated.
AutoTransact dealers can offer the ability to transfer vehicles between dealerships, or to provide driven or transported home delivery options.
Thankfully, in keeping with Bluesky’s promise to offer impressive flexibility, you can decide where and when you want to apply any additional fees or restrictions for any of these services.
Choosing your third-party integrations
You’ll need to consider how much you want your e-commerce solution to reflect your in-dealership processes.
As an example, do you want to include the part-exchange process, allowing customers to value their cars – and how detailed do you want that process to be?
Do you want to integrate your online finance, and how far do you want to take that – just an online calculator, or facilitating the full application?
Do you need to process VAT as part of your setup, or would you prefer to handle commercial vehicles internally?
You’ll also need to settle on a third-party payment provider (such as Stripe, PayPal or RetailMerchantServices) – one that works for you in terms of financial turnaround times, as well as charging fees that allow your business to remain competitive.
Contacting Bluesky Interactive
Get in touch with Bluesky today for a platform demonstration! Go to blueskyinteractive.co.uk or phone 01926 651000.
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