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Digital channels grow rapidly as buyers source and buy stock in a strong used car market

Posted 14 November 2019

Digital used vehicle buying activity rocketed during Q3 2019 with web views rising by nearly two thirds according to Aston Barclay’s latest Insights Used Car Market Report.

Vehicle web views during Q3 rose by 61.8% to their highest level this year - and one in three of all sales took place online, with buyers turning to digital channels to gain a competitive advantage in a very strong used car market.

This digital adoption is further evidenced by a 50% increase in mobile bids during Q3, with more buyers bidding for stock during the ‘summer holiday season’ via the Buyer’s App, particularly in August.

The ‘summer holiday season’ was responsible for a quarterly fall in auction hall bids although the group consistently delivered high sales conversion rates above 90%.

Meanwhile, Aston Barclay’s Cascade proposition is attracting an increasing number of vendors with some now converting over 50% of their used car stock upstream, prior to a physical sale, resulting in a reduction in stocking days from 5.58 to 1.8 days.

Daren Wiseman, digital strategy director, Aston Barclay, said: “Dealer buying habits are continually changing as they fight to buy the very best used stock.

“Mobile bids more than doubled during August as buyers bid on stock from their Buyer’s App whilst on holiday with fingertip access to our physical and digital sales channels.

“In the current market where demand is very strong buyers are putting themselves in the box seat by using technology to search and bid on the best quality stock while still attending some auctions.”

During Q3, Mercedes-Benz led the way amongst the OEM brands for online bids with Ford in second place and Vauxhall in third. Mercedes-Benz were also first for online sales with Volkswagen and Audi taking second and third place respectively.

This was achieved against a back drop of a 38% increase in the time buyers spent viewing stock on web pages to two minutes and 34 seconds helped by an increasing number of images and detailed inspection reports on every car.

The increase in online activity and rise in mobile bidding continues to support Aston Barclay’s digital strategy, at the heart of which sits its Buyer’s App which has generated more than £74m in vehicle purchases accounting for more than 24% of all online purchases during 2019.

Daren said: “The Buyer’s App provides a whole new dynamic to the buying process, an ‘anywhere, anytime’ opportunity for dealers to secure stock in a way exclusively available to Aston Barclay’s ever-growing buyer base.”

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