Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Andy Brown's blog - 12 June: Living in a 24/7 world
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Andy Brown's blog - 12 June: Living in a 24/7 world

Date: 12 June 2015

Andy Brown is managing director of CD Fleet Services

You probably don't want to be reminded that we now live in a 24/7 world. Many of us suffer withdrawal symptoms if we're separated from our smartphone and, apparently, the typical smartphone user first checks his or her emails at 7.31 in the morning.

Of course, this behaviour also applies to car buying. The latest research from Auto Trader reveals that 86% of consumers now search for their next car after 6pm and two thirds of the site's traffic comes from smartphones or tablets.

What you may not realise is that this pattern of behaviour extends to professional trade buyers.

I've been digging around in our data as part of the process of re-launching our Cars Direct online auction as fully responsive, mobile enabled site that will allow trade buyers to bid on your cars anytime, anywhere. The results surprised even me.

For instance, in the past month, just under 40% of our initial bids on vehicles came in 'out-of-hours' - by which I mean after 5pm and before 8am the next morning. Some multi-vendor sales had just under half the initial bids placed out-of-hours.

We had one bid placed at just after midnight on a Range Rover Evoque and another, on a BMW, at 01.40 in the morning. That shows some devotion to duty!

The point I'm trying to make is that professional trade buyers, like the rest of us, are busy people. Quite often (in fact, more often than you might imagine), they're not going to want to spend a whole day watching a physical auction (either in the hall or online) just waiting for the right car to come through.

\This is what we mean when we try to distinguish between genuine online and 'pseudo' online auctions.

The former have all the lots closing online at the same time, allowing your buyers to place their bid at a time to suit them and then get on with the rest of their day; the latter are just basically online feeds of a physical sale that needs to be watched all day. Blink, and you've missed the car.

And, this being the 'green' issue of BusinessCar, I should probably mention the environmental benefit of online auctions too.

Yes, you still have to transport the vehicles to our auction centre for high quality digital photography and condition reporting but the buyers don't have to move at all; saving time, traffic congestion and CO2.

I'm not quite sure why this means they're still up looking for cars at 1am - but, hey, I'm not going to complain!

Andy Brown is managing director of CD Fleet Services