At a time when accuracy and efficiency are more important than ever to safeguard margins, Automotive Transformation Group (ATG) have integrated Auto Trader’s suite of API solutions, Auto Trader Connect, into its ecosystem. The partnership will enable thousands of its retailer customers to benefit from real-time data connectivity, helping them to increase efficiencies, maximise vehicle margin, and dramatically improve the consumer online experience.
As part of the partnership, which was announced in October last year, ATG customers will now have full access to two key elements of Auto Trader Connect: both its Valuations, and Retail Essentials modules, with the next phase of the integration (including the newly announced Trended Valuations and enhanced Retail Check functionality modules) set to follow. These modules are available as part of Auto Trader packages as standard, but with the technical development now complete, thousands of UK retailer rooftops (which includes 82% of the top 200 locations) will also have seamless access to Auto Trader’s market-leading taxonomy and valuations data directly within ATG’s NetDirector® SalesMaster inventory management system.
The Auto Trader Connect – Valuations module features components designed to inform retailers’ sourcing and pricing strategies with the most accurate and current view of the market. This in turn will enable them to buy and price with confidence without the need to reference multiple systems. Such is the accuracy and value of Auto Trader’s Valuations data in informing vital retailing decisions, it was requested over 20 million times in September alone.
Additional VIN Specification data (optional specification items added to each vehicle as they were built in the factory) will add to margin potential by using precise valuations adjusted for the exact specification of each car. As well as driving further efficiencies by including optional specification details to listings automatically, it will improve the consumer experience by providing a more accurate and detailed advert, reducing the potential for customer complaints, negative reviews or even returned vehicles due to inaccurate descriptions.
Consistency and accuracy maximising margin potential
Combining Auto Trader’s data with the real-time capability of the Auto Trader Connect – Retail Essentials module, ATG’s customers can instantly update and manage multiple back-end and consumer-facing systems, ensuring consistency and accuracy with minimal effort. This includes publishing vehicles onto Auto Trader directly from the NetDirector® SalesMaster platform, amending copy, removing stock once sold, or immediately responding to changes in today’s fast-paced retail market with price changes, helping to further maximise margin potential.
Prior to full integration, Automotive Transformation Group ran a comprehensive pilot with Vindis Group. Commenting on the success of the early adoption, Peter Toop, Director of Business Transformation at Vindis, said: “When Automotive Transformation Group and Auto Trader announced their partnership, we eagerly embraced the opportunity to become the first of many to experience its positive impact. This integration immediately improved our efficiency by reducing redundant tasks and allowing us to optimise our Auto Trader advertising slots with real-time updates. From a profitability standpoint, having a comprehensive view of valuations, performance metrics, inventory data, and costs all within the NetDirector® SalesMaster platform, empowers us to make quicker, more informed decisions regarding stock profiling, procurement, and pricing.”
The benefits of real-time connectivity won’t be limited to just retailers. With the partnership enabling new car stock management as well as used, Automotive Transformation Group’s manufacturing partners, of which they serve 60% of the world’s most renowned OEMs, will also have the opportunity to utilise the Auto Trader Connect integration to manage stock on Auto Trader without having to leave the NetDirector® SalesMaster inventory system.
Commenting on the completion of the integration, Automotive Transformation Group’s Simon Upton, Chief Operating Officer, said: “With salespeople spending so much of their time logging into system after system just to rekey the same information, the importance of effective automation cannot be overstated. By synchronising our Fusion suite with that of key players like Auto Trader, we can drive efficiencies for Retailers and OEMs alike, ensuring better usage of their resources and a better consumer experience. We take great pride in enabling customers to make more informed decisions during the most critical moments of their operation to maximise profitability.
Auto Trader Chief Product Director, Karolina Edwards-Smajda, added: “The market is experiencing forces of change, which are not only causing uncertainty among retailers, but making it increasingly difficult to navigate. We know that businesses that are already utilising the real-time connectivity of Auto Trader Connect are driving better margins, greater efficiencies and an improved consumer experience. Combined with our vehicle taxonomy and valuations data, they’re able to respond instantly and effectively to changes in the market with the most accurate real-time valuations data available. More than 9,300 retailers are already benefitting from services powered by Auto Trader Connect, which is included as standard in all our packages. With the first phase of its integration into Automotive Transformation Group’s systems now complete, their customers will have the same capabilities and insights at their fingertips, and can look forward to achieving the same results.”