As First Minister, Mark Drakeford, warned that there is “not much headroom for change” around Wales’ Tier 4 lockdown restrictions many were panicking, but a few local businesses are feeling much calmer this time around.
One is CarShop Cardiff, a used car store located on Penarth Road which has been operating for 15 years and reported positive annual sales figures despite the uncertainty that COVID-19 presents.
The store’s Head of Business, Mark Short (above), pins this success down to the retailer’s huge investment in its digital offering – most significantly, around its Click-and-Collect service.
The group worked hard over summer to advance its national Click-and-Collect offering to a much higher degree than what would have been possible in normal years of trading. This was due to the need to offer customers a completely COVID-safe purchasing experience.
It also remodeled this based on the retailer’s thorough research around customer preference – for example, which parts of the car-buying process gave the customers the most, and the least, joy. As a result, CarShop reinvented this service in order to maximise the satisfaction of driving a new car away from the forecourt, and minimise the lengthy paperwork admin in-store.
Customers can now use the Click-and-Collect service to browse models and makes for sale in Cardiff – where there are over 800 vehicles – and UK-wide – which gives them access to over 10,000 cars. They can do this from the comfort of their own homes before holding their preferred car online at carshop.co.uk for only £99. This amount can then be fully refunded if they change their mind. Plus, the entire paperwork element of buying a car on finance or part exchange is sorted remotely, in advance.
And, it seems, people are buying into the idea.
Short reported,“Myself and the rest of the CarShop Cardiff team have seen a really positive response from customers this past year – especially around our Click-and-Collect service and how ‘faff-free’ the process is.”
Nigel Hurley, CEO at CarShop, comments on the retailer’s thought process behind its investment in Click-and-Collect: “When lockdown happened, it removed the opportunity for customers to come in-store and browse so we had to evolve very quickly. We have always offered Click-and-Collect as an option but, previously, it was about reserving the car online and then coming in store for everything else – including the paperwork.
“Now, however, we’ve consciously put a huge emphasis on the enjoyment that comes from buying a car. Customers can be assured of their complete safety, have all the fun of driving off with that new car, without any of the lengthy filling in forms in-store – it’s a win-win.”
Every car undergoes a rigorous multi-point safety check before becoming available for purchase. This includes thorough testing of its exterior, mechanics and interior to ensure that customers are receiving a premium quality vehicle. CarShop Cardiff’s service centre, which provides visitors with a quick and easy way to MOT, service and repair their vehicle, also remains open for pre-arranged appointments during lockdown – these can be booked on carshop.co.uk.