AutoTrader, never a brand to sit still, has launched its Connect product, a real-time data sharing stock management solution designed to enable retailers to update multiple back-end and consumer facing systems with advanced vehicle data in real-time.
The first phase of the solution, Retail Essentials, will be available to all of Auto Trader’s retailer partners as part of all advertising packages as standard. However, after being offered early access in December, AutoTrader report that over 2,500 retailers quickly signed up to the service.
The idea is that, with Auto Trader Connect, retailers create and manage their stock within their current stock management system, which then seamlessly connects and syncs across key selling channels. It not only ensures consistency, but also massively reduces time and effort.
Real-time connectivity also enables retailers to be able to respond to an exceptionally fast-moving retail market. Dealer management systems (DMS) typically rely on data feeds which run at limited times of the day. Whether they want to make price adjustments, amend a mistake or to remove a vehicle once it’s been sold, retailers often have to wait hours before their feeds are updated, potentially resulting in frustrated consumers, missed sales opportunities, and reduced margins. Auto Trader Connect’s real-time link between systems enables changes to be made and shared across key selling-channels instantly.
James Weston, Robins & Day’s chief executive, is being quoted by AutoTrader as being something of a fan: “Simply put, relying on data feeds was causing us huge inefficiencies and ultimately put our business at a commercial disadvantage. As well as costing us valuable time and effort in manually correcting mistakes or inconsistencies, the data feed lags severely hampered our ability to react to changes in the market. At best this threatened potential margins, but at worst, it led to missing sales altogether.”