A leading UK auction firm is putting digitalisation at the heart of its expansion plans including the launch of a major new remarketing centre.
Aston Barclay has opened a new 18-acre flagship centre at Donington Park, and its success is being driven by a digital strategy that has been pushing the boundaries of technological development in the sector to increase demand for used vehicle assets.
The centre is the fifth in Aston Barclay’s UK network and has been the spearhead for technological developments, including the launch of a new buyer app that has been downloaded more than 2,000 times in two months.
The app plays a critical role in raising awareness of auctions, while delivering highly personalised messages to buyers and supporting online bidding.
At the physical auction, digital pods in the auction area are positioned to enable buyers to search for stock from across the group without missing the current sale.
By generating awareness through digital platforms, Aston Barclay has secured more than 400 new buyers at its new Donington Park auction in six weeks, something that would take “10 times as long” before the strategy was introduced, according to Neil Hodson, Aston Barclay’s chief executive.
Aston Barclay has also invested in new GardX SpinCar vehicle imaging technology, which can quickly capture a full range of vehicle images and slash the ‘time to online’ between a vehicle being ready for sale and its details being put on marketing websites, to as little as 15 minutes.
Hodson said: “From the outset, our vision for the group, and Donington in particular, was to introduce a range of new digital technologies that were going to make the remarketing experience more interactive and bridge the gap between the physical auction hall and the mobile space for both buyers and sellers.”
At its auction halls, ‘digital eagles’ are on hand to help buyers make the most of the technology available.
Hodson said: “Technology is moving very quickly. We have the advantage of being first to market and we will be constantly evolving the technology. We want to be a disruptor and we are constantly looking for the next challenge.”
Hodson recently led a multi-million pound investment in Aston Barclay, supported by Rutland Partners, which aims to double sales to 160,000 vehicles over the next five years.
Among new clients attracted by the strategy is MotoNovo Finance, which praised the strategy as a key factor in speeding up asset value extraction.
The business said that the benefits of a digital platform, backed by efficient logistics and payment systems, was cutting timetables for generating vehicle revenue from 20 days to as little as eight.