The potent combination of online convenience, more women buyers and foreign imports has benefited Freeserve’s latest e-commerce initiative.
FSMotorist, a joint venture with ITC (Internet Trading Clubs) has generated revenues of more than &£1m, 60,000 unique visitors and more than 1 million page impressions during its first week, Freeserve claims.
Some 1,200 Freeserve members have paid a &£9.99 joining fee and more than 55 imported cars have been sold.
The list of car models sold includes Mercedes, BMWs and Volkswagens.
FSMotorist claims to go one step further than rival sites by being the first “comprehensive, one-stop shop” for online car buying, with a range of aftercare products such as tyres and exhausts also included.
Freeserve chief executive John Pluthero says the service “has captured the imagination” of his customers. “By offering fleet-style discounts and cut-price car products and services, FSMotorist cuts through the inconvenience, mystique and rip-off prices that have become synonymous with the motoring trade offline.”
Other online car sites include Totalise, which is also an ISP, Autobytel.co.uk, Carbusters.com, set up by the Consumers’ Association, and Oneswoop.co.uk.
Autobytel, which launched in April last year, has this week released survey results showing an acceleration in the number of online car buyers.
It says nearly one-quarter of UK women are turning their back on the “macho” car showroom in favour of the “more comfortable” experience of online buying. Autobytel has sold &£60m worth of cars since its UK launch.