The changing face of car auctions – what to expect in 2019

The changing face of car auctions – what to expect in 2019

The car remarketing landscape is always changing and evolving – and 2019 will certainly be no different. Our very own sales and marketing director, Roger Evans, offers his thoughts on the evolution of the auction industry and what’s to come in 2019 …

We’ve heard it everywhere during 2018 – used car sales have dominated the automotive market and outperformed new registrations. And auction houses have been working hard to capitalise on this.

A sale today looks very different from five years ago, so it is important that remarketers stay up to date with the latest trends, to ensure they don’t get left behind.

So, how have auctions changed?

Comfort AND quality cars

Even though the role of in-lane sales for traders and vendors hasn’t altered much over the years – they allow purchasers to see, feel and hear a vehicle in person – it isn’t just about the cars any more. Long gone are the days of uninviting, cold, windswept buildings with few amenities. A warm and welcoming site is what dealers are looking for, with food and beverages available.

From physical to digital

There are some old-school dealers who will never bid online – no matter how easy you make it for them. They simply love to see a car in the flesh. But for some, bidding from their own office, or sofa, is the height of convenience and comfort. Digital bidding is becoming the preferred method of purchasing for a growing majority of traders. And this has been made possible with great leaps forward in vendor technology as well as smartphone performance.

Tech transformation

Thanks again to the advancement of technology, bidding on a vehicle without being present at a sale is now very much the norm. Vendor inventories in high definition, audio commentary and 360videos to enhance the inspection findings, have allowed traders to feel confident in the condition and quality of a car – including any damage.

Truth and transparency

The buyer and vendor relationship has never been more important for a successful partnership. 100% transparency is the key to buyers to making more informed purchasing decisions. If they feel ignored by big organisations, or unimportant to them, they will certainly take their business elsewhere, and very quickly. Customer loyalty has to be at the front and centre of any remarketing firm’s strategy next year.

What’s to come in 2019?

Apps and slick, phone-based user interfaces are changing buyer behaviour faster than any other trend. Thanks to these innovations, we will see online purchasing increase by more than 20% next year.

Tech is at the forefront of every sector across the world, and this is no different for remarketing. Consumers can not only appraise a vehicle themselves, but also consult a detailed video rundown, courtesy of an inhouse expert. This means the buying experience has been enhanced, and they feel more empowered in their decision-making process. Anyone who does not offer this will see their attendee figures dwindle.

Auctions and dealers alike need to tune into these industry trends and pass their unique insight on to customers.

Sellers are demanding more from remarketers, to maximise their margins and increase profitability, so those who are immersed in the motor industry will be the ones who steam ahead in 2019.