Ford launches online retail sales in the UK

27 September 2018

27 September 2018

Vehicle manufacturer Ford has started selling vehicles online as it looks to engage with consumers through new retail methods.

Recognising the growing trend for browsing and buying online, Ford has launched a new Online Sales service. The consumer-focused website can be accessed anywhere, and will also be available at its Digital FordStore in Manchester’s Arndale Shopping Centre.

In a statement, Ford says that the Online Sales service ′provides an alternative way to purchase a new Ford. The service puts customers in control of the purchase process, allowing them to part exchange a current vehicle, chose a new Ford, set preferred payment terms and arrange delivery via participating dealers.’

Speaking to Autovista Group earlier this year, Ford of Britain managing director Andy Barratt said: ′We are starting to pioneer new initiatives. We have launched online a direct consumer channel, where the dealer handles delivery but the customer transacts directly with us, and last week we launched our first store-in-store, which is a global pilot, in a Next store in Manchester. It is the first time there has been an automotive presence in a department store, and it is in a shopping centre that has 48 million visitors a year. So we are pioneering new things to talk to consumers in different ways, that that is the significance of the UK market, not just in Europe but globally.’

Store opening

The Digital FordStore, which opened in July, features a five-vehicle display and offers customers a relaxed environment to explore the Ford range, including the all-new Ford Focus. Ford ′hosts’ are on hand to guide customers, assist with vehicle configurations and arrange test-drive bookings.

The official opening of the Manchester FordStore saw the launch of Car Talk, a series of open discussion events allowing customers to join discussions and hear from Ford experts. Taking place fortnightly, Car Talk covers a range of topics including the technology in the all-new Ford Focus and FordPass Connect.

Initiatives such as this will, Ford hopes, allow consumers to engage further with the company, recognising its openness and ability to offer advice, and remaining in people’s minds when they decide to choose a new vehicle.

Speaking at the FordStore launch event, Kevin Griffin, Ford of Britain sales director, said: ′We are changing the way consumers interact with our brand and responding to the way they want to purchase vehicles, particularly female buyers. With our new Online Sales service, the customer is in control every step of the way; they can buy in-store today or complete their purchase online at home. They can also visit the store to talk to experts for advice, hear about the latest technologies and experience them with a test-drive direct from the store.’