It’s Time to Discover and Realise the Opportunities in 2024

The realities of the prevailing trading environment cannot be ignored; however, it is every bit as important to identify and realise the opportunities that exist to create success. Into and throughout 2024, CitNOW Group’s growing ecosystem of innovative technology, business culture, people and resources is committed to realising greater success for our retailer and OEM partners. 

In this latest blog, we will explore some of the potential opportunities in 2024 and how CitNOW Group can help.  

Productivity, quality and increased customer engagement – a new role for AI in car sales 

Leading car aggregators highlight the importance of well-shot, clear images that bring every car to life continuously as a way of making a retailer’s stock stand out from the crowd. However, it can be labourintensive. Our Auto Imaging platform creates compelling still and video imagery, automating many traditional processes and adding new capabilities, including retailer branding and the capacity to populate image slots on car aggregation platforms automatically. All of this can be done with just an app on a mobile device and a tripod, and it is very effective. In the UK, dealers achieved significant success using Auto Imaging – a 74% increase in website visits last year. 

AI has featured significantly as part of the existing intelligent Quality Control (QC) processes within the Auto Imaging platform. 2024 will see a series of exciting new features and innovations that leverage AI to further enhance productivity, quality control and customer engagement. 

New car & van salesachieving the ZEV mix 

This year, the Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Mandate requires that 22% of new sales sold are, as the Mandate name suggests, zero-emission, so in essence, Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs). It will see OEMs charged £15,000 per non-compliant car sold for missing the target. For vans, the fine is £9,000 in 2024, rising to £18,000 after that.  

For OEMs who may struggle to achieve the 22% target, it is likely to have a significant impact for them and their retailers, and those OEMs can be expected to control their retailers’ distribution of new stock more carefully. In the spirit of teamwork, retailers can help themselves and their OEM partners by having a greater insight into their sales activity down to sales executive level and embracing stock turn and business pipeline/sales enquiries. 

The granular and benchmarking information RTC Insights provides can help dealer leadership to monitor sales reactively, plan sales tactics proactively, help identify best practices, guide training plans, and support pricing and stock turn management. It is an insight that is likely to be valuable for any OEM brand that may struggle to achieve the 22% threshold.  

Utilising digital communication tools like CitNOW Sales could also be beneficial when engaging with customers and helping to increase their awareness and understanding of BEVs, video explainers, thorough walkarounds and clear explanations of the advantages of a BEV whilst dispelling any initial resistance could have a positive impact on meeting these targets.  

Lead management process and control

With its drive to support retailer efficiency last year, CitNOW Group’s sales and enquiry management solution powered by Dealerweb captured over 2m leads across national and regional retailer groups, single franchise, and independents. 

Last year, retailers using Dealerweb saw 30% more enquiries than in 2022, and 1/3 of all enquiries, new and used, resulted in an order. Effective lead management ensures quality customer experiences. Customers expect swift responses, with a quarter anticipating answers within 30 minutes on the same communication channel they initiated communication with the dealership. Technology such as Dealerweb Showroom streamline sales operations and thus improving efficiency, delivering seamless customer journeys and enhanced experiences. 

Moving into 2024 Dealerweb Showroom customers will be able to take advantage of a new feature, Equicalc. It is an equity calculator enabling retailers to interrogate their DMS and identify when customers who took out finance might be back in the market for their next car. This information allows retailers to target customers with bespoke offers and initiate conversations about changing cars helping to boost prospecting activity and retain customer loyalty. 

Aftersales – Driving Conversions is a Significant Opportunity

70% of retailers believe their aftersales teams miss out on chances to maximise all revenue opportunities. CitNOW Group’s RTC Insight analysts revealed that from missed red work alone, retailers lost £170K pa income per rooftop.  

When converting identified work in aftersales, nothing is more compelling than the power of video. To put this in context, our latest data from CitNOW reveals that 68% of work was authorised in under 30 minutes after the customer saw a video that clearly showed the need for a repair. 

CitNOW’s app-based video solutions for retailers are motor industry-specific and backed up by digital impact dashboards. Last year, UK retailers made 12.9M videos using CitNOW. They are effective because they provide a highly transparent, credible and easily accessed first-person experience. If something dangerous about a car has been identified, the customer can see it for themselves; it is highly compelling. 

Consumer confidence – creating engaged conversations

Building consumer confidence is the most important bridge to cross in creating sales. In today’s omnichannel world, a communication tool that supports and complements the showroom experience can provide dealers with a compelling edge. 

In 2024, CitNOW will launch CitNOW Conversations. Already highly valued by in Europe, CitNOW Conversations will make it even easier for retailers to communicate seamlessly with customers and potential customers on the messaging channels that they prefer from one central platform, 24×7. 

It is already driving more service bookings, streamlining workshop communications and increasing productivity and in sales, it makes it easier for customers to start the conversation, enables leads to be pre-qualified and speeds up the sales process with multichannel communication and automation. In the year ahead, these conversations and their value can only grow. 

Discover the CitNOW Group ecosystem

CitNOW Group is not a single solution. It is an ecosystem that can be tailored to a retailer’s needs, all with the promise of continuous development and improvement.

To find out more about how CitNOW Group can support you in the year ahead, contact us today.