Irish car buyers are embracing the switch to online shopping, spurred-on by the stay-at-home mantra of the COVID crisis.
50,000 car walk-around videos
According to Windsor Group, one of Ireland's largest dealer car dealer groups, three-fifths of its customers are now doing most of their car buying from home, while 65 per cent are spending just 30 minutes in an actual showroom, basically just coming to drop off their trade-in and collect their new wheels.
Windsor says that it's feeding this new demand for online car shopping, and has uploaded as many as 50,000 video walk-arounds of cars that it has for sale so that they can be viewed from home.
Some 30 per cent of customers are making dealer appointments online, having done the bulk of their car-buying research and decision-making online.
Digital is reshaping car sales
Windsor says that its online inquiries have also gone up by 25 per cent as people try to find the safest way to get their new car during the pandemic.
"Digital has been reshaping car sales for some time but Covid-19 has accelerated the move online as consumers adapt to the crisis. Windsor is meeting the needs of today's car buyers, enabling them to buy, finance and trade-in cars without visiting a showroom," said Peter Nicholson, Managing Director at Windsor.
"The number of online visits to our site has grown year-on-year, but the single biggest change in recent months is that buyers are now viewing, reserving, trading-in and fully financing cars online. The bulk of the transaction is done before they visit our showrooms and the online process has reduced showroom visits to just one visit."
Pioneer of online sales
Windsor claims to have been a major pioneer in the world of online car sales, having invested €1 million into its group website in 2018, which it says has allowed buyers to "use the site to view, reserve and buy used cars, to engage sales staff and to calculate and complete an end-to-end finance application. Online payment is processed through Stripe or via their bank credit card." The group is also offering a contact-free delivery service, which will drop your new car to your door, fully-cleaned and sanitised.
Windsor currently holds new-car franchises for Nissan, Renault, Dacia, Opel, Peugeot, Mazda and Citroen, and says that it is the largest supplier of used cars in the country.