Socially-distanced car shopping

by Isobel Dando

We are living in unprecedented times. The current global pandemic has understandably had a negative impact on just about each and every business vertical apart from a few, with only the likes of Amazon and supermarkets seeing an uptick in sales.

Automotive industry impact

Of course, the automotive industry is no different. March saw the closure of automotive retailers, except for essential workshop facilities needed to keep key workers on the road. Subsequently, new car registrations for the month of April 2020 slumped by 97% year-on-year to their lowest level since 1946.

Shopping habits

The resulting lockdown that has been put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus has had a dramatic impact not only on the way we live and work but also on how we shop in general. Already by March 2020, at the very beginning of lockdown, online sales had reached a record high of over 22% of the total retail market for consumer goods in the UK. Since then, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in online shopping demand. Although the UK represents the most mature and largest e-commerce market, even the supermarkets with their well-established supply chains, have struggled to satisfy demand.

An IPSOS Mori Survey released on May 1st further underscored this shift to online shopping by finding that 43% of Britons would feel uncomfortable shopping in-person, other than in supermarkets. Whilst we know with time that the world will return to some kind of normal, a significant number of people have already changed the way they shop and will continue to do so after the global pandemic.

Subscription: from ownership to usership

All of this – coupled with a parallel shift in consumer psychographics showing consumers moving away from ‘ownership’ to ‘usership’, means that vehicle subscription becomes all the more appealing during these times versus a traditional vehicle purchase. 

We’ve certainly been seeing this move way from ownership to usership at Pivotal since our launch in October of last year (as Carpe) and now with growing momentum since the pandemic. Pivotal is a subscription service where one single monthly payment includes insurance, tax, servicing, and repairs – everything except fuel. Our customers love the fact they can pause their subscription when they no longer need a car. There’s no long-term commitment and no upfront deposit required – just a one-time joining fee of £550.

For new Pivotal customers needing to solve an immediate mobility need, the ease and safety of home delivery in 7 days means they don’t need to visit a retailer – socially-distanced car shopping, if you will. A contactless handover has also helped many of our customers to feel more secure during this time. Plus, we bring a fresh car to you every 6 months. In fact, many of our customers are now looking forward to their contactless delivery of a fresh car in the coming months as they begin to return to work.

For anyone thinking about changing their vehicle, or who may be uncertain about how long they’ll need a car, now is the perfect time to look at vehicle subscriptions – see 5 Ways a car subscription can save you money to learn more.

Pivotal by Jaguar Land Rover offers a range of beautiful vehicles, a high level of customer service, and competitive subscription tiers for every budget. Popular vehicles include Evoque, Range Rover Sport through to Jaguar I-PACE.

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