I can remember when we were launching Lexus in 1989 and the new dealers would ask, “what used cars should I stock in my new store?”
Back when we built Driver’s Mart Used Car Superstores we designed a kiosk with key cards and sophisticated gates so we could tell which cars people wanted, whether our inventory was priced accurately, and how the sales associates were performing. I can remember sitting with General Managers and Used Car Managers at 20 Groups and talking with envy about the CarMax inventory software that helped them know what to buy and how to price it.
How much money have we all spent on various pieces of used car software that was supposed to give us “all the answers?”
Today, when you look at what is being done with Big Data, it is finally possible to know the answers to many of our age old questions. The same data that can tell you who to serve, what to do with what product, which site to use at what time, can tell you what that person is likely to buy, when and even why.
I have been advising a company called Vast for the last 2 years that scans 27M cars every day and sees more than 100MM vehicle searches across 400+ different web sites. We together have built the most powerful Big Data application for sales associates – CarStory. Working with their Chief Scientist & analytics experts has been really enlightening.
The data can tell you the kinds of things we all used to say…”if only I knew…” [Read more…]