As a 22 year industry pro I took the past 4 years off from the auto biz. I have been lured back in by a great dealer with a big sales slide problem. I agreed to come in and help build his internet department. What I am hoping you can help me find is some stats that show some industry averages on the internet such as:
- Lead to Appt ratio%
- Appointment Kept %
- Appointment to sale ratio
I know I need something to base projections on, and I need help gathering some number
Your time and assistance is appreciated.
Jon Hageman II
Internet Sales Manager
Mike Whitty over at Salesperson Inc. shares his view of the 3 different types of basic shoppers and their thought process.
The Click ‘N’ Order vs Click ‘N’ Brick vs Brick ‘N’ Mortar Customer –
For the longest time, customers purchased items in one of two ways: either by walking into a store or mail ordering from a catalog. Well, in many cases, the store is still there, but the mail order catalog is slowly being replaced by the Internet. It’s less costly and can be updated more frequently by providing this information on the web, then having our poor mail carriers lug these heavy catalogs around, and reproduce them with the high cost of printing and stamps.
So, to help you understand where your customer future lies in relationship to the Internet, I’ve placed customers into three main categories, and attempted to provide a description of each.
Click ‘N’ Order Customers
Click ‘N’ Order customers usually purchase items based on price, information, and service. A dealership appealing to Click ‘N’ Order customers usually needs to provide all three or be so superior in one facet, like offering special
internet pricing, that they don’t mind less concentration on the other two factors. In reality, many people don’t expect to necessarily save money by shopping online, especially by the time shipping costs are factored into the
final price. They do expect value-added sellers, and they love buying from the comforts of their home. For example, automotive dealerships that have online parts and accessory pages on their websites provide a great deal of information, selection, and customer service through their website and this can appeal to many Click ‘N’ Order customers. Click ‘N’ Order customers expect their online experience to be fast and extensive, painless, with more options than Brick ‘N’ Mortar. If there are any problems with their online experience, they can immediately click away to another website. In a few words, Click ‘N’ Order customers expect speed, flexibility, and options; they are generally very savvy shoppers. Plus, they just have a lot of fun buying things in their pajamas and having them delivered directly to their front door in just a matter of days.
Click ‘N’ Brick Customers
The Click ‘N’ Brick customer is on the way to becoming a Click ‘N’ Order customer, but hasn’t reached the point of feeling comfortable doing financial transactions online. Though they find the Internet exciting and spend a lot of time surfing the web, they feel that putting a credit card online is unsafe. But they do love doing a lot of research to determine what and where to buy. The Click ‘N’ Brick customer will gather all the information on the RV of choice, print it out, and take it right to the dealership to begin the buying and negotiating process. It’s this fact alone that makes the Click ‘N’ Brick customer feel more special than the Brick ‘N’ Mortar Customer when they come into your dealership. They just know more and feel they have the upper hand when it comes to buying a new vehicle. It used to be that salespeople hated to see these customers come into the dealership (like with their Consumer Reports) since they were more knowledgeable with facts and figures than the typical Brick ‘N’ Mortar customer. Sometimes they may even know more about the features of the vehicle and its competition than the salesperson (which isn’t a good thing!)
Brick ‘N’ Mortar Customer
Brick ‘N’ Mortar customers are a slightly different breed. They may not know how to search the internet, or may not even have a computer yet. If they do have a computer, they’re afraid to use it. They can and will take more time enjoying the “shopping experience.” A Brick ‘N’ Mortar customer is not as likely to leave an RV Dealership because there are a lot of customers in the showroom, as an Internet customer will click off your site if they don’t like the experience. A Brick ‘N’ Mortar customer at ABC dealer can’t search 10 other dealerships in 10 other states just to verify that ABC dealer has the lowest price while they are in the showroom. Once a Brick ‘N’ Mortar customer receives personalized attention, it is likely they will come back to the same place again. Brick ‘N’ Mortar customers like to “touch and feel” and are more likely to pick up parts and accessories they didn’t originally intend to purchase when they left home.
The descriptions for each might not be totally accurate with every customer, but I think you can see that there are differences with each, and they each have their own idea on how to shop. Since you already have a process in place for the Brick ‘N’ Mortar customer, it’s time to begin concentrating on the other two for increasing your future Internet sales. – Mike Whitty
Thanks for your article Mike.
Mike Whitty is President and Owner of Salesperson Inc.
Your can contact Mike at
http://www.mikewhitty.com or (800) 453-2787
5 Years ago would you ever imagine this..where will we be 5 year from now? And some still think this has no influence on the automotive retail industry.
Most of convention was basically regurgitation of 2006. Only a few new items worth mentioning as far as I’m concerned, of course I’m only looking out for CRM/BDC and internet marketing related vendors.
Last year the Search Engine Marketing (SEM) booths (ADTraffic and ClickMotive) were rock’n. This year they seemed to be a little on the dry side every time I walked by. I think most dealers have played in the SEM game and have gotten burned or they were not seeing an ROI that made sense. This could be caused by some SEM vendors sending the customer to the dealers home page on their website and then not having anyway of tracking the conversion. PLUS, many of your website vendors have jumped on the SEM bandwagon and are offering their own SEM services.
eLead was showing off a few new additions to their CRM including a new service department module for their evolution CRM product. I sat through a demo and was initially impressed. Now if they could only get some real reports for their evolution CRM (which I hear they are working on)!
AutoBase finally introduced an ILM feature (I guess that’s what you would call it) for their CRM. Nothing over impressive but if you’re an Internet Sales Manager using Autobase CRM, I’m sure this will be a nice addition. It might sway those dealers using a separate ILM tool to just use AutoBase; saving the dealer a few dollars in the monthly budget.
I received the WORSE old school sales pitch from a gentlemen at @utorevenue.com. I’m not going to knock the product since it was never demonstrated to me; rather I had to sit through this brutal sales pitch. At one point I asked “what measures do you take to stay on the email white lists?” The answer that was given would have been great for someone that didn’t know any better but it was too obvious to me that he wasn’t sure how to answer the question though did a great job covering up his answer with smoke. That was a turn off.
DealerSocket introduced what looked to be like and impressive desking tool. I’ve always been impressed with what this CRM looks like it can do. I’d be interested in hearing from some dealers using it everyday.
AutoMart’s has a nice new clean layout from the consumers end. They have a chat service for you to speak with your potential customers. We need someone to give AutoTrader some more competition. Will AutoMart be the one to do this?
I stopped by the cars.com booth for a sales pitch and demo. I’ve never used cars.com so I can’t comment on their services or how well of an ad source it is. They were really touting their new car leads as being the best in the business. The sales guy was pitching their exclusive “scrubbing” software; AuthentiCom Validation. It’s supposed to accurately validate the consumers name, address and phone numbers. Hummm..I’ve head that one before!!
The Microsoft booth was a busy booth. It took 20 minutes of waiting around just to speak with someone in order to get a demo from one of the several companies offering products based on the MS DMS platform. I was impressed, more then what I thought I would be. After seeing some of the products and what they have to offer, I think there might be a shakedown in the DMS business sooner then what some thought.
eBay was keeping busy, pushing their new eBay local listings. I can’t confirm this, but I over heard someone saying they were signing up dealers left and right. I have mixed emotions about eBay local. I’ve been on the local program for a few months now as a beta dealer and haven’t been doing too hot with it. I’ve sold a few cars but have yet to really make any money off the sales. eBay can be a tough avenue for dealers to market themselves so I can’t wait to see how eBay furthers this local program. I’ll be writing more about my experience with the eBay Local program after I get some more solid statistics for myself.
Homenet introduced their new handheld inventory module “pocketIOL”; giving you portable instant access to your inventory. I was playing around with it and was quite impressed. I’ve seen and used a few of these hand held inventory devices in the past only to find most are buggy and just don’t work. This could be a great solution for larger dealers especially. Special thanks to Jesse and Ryan over there at Homenet for the awesome hospitality.
Higher Gear introduced a new Desking solution for their CRM. From what I saw..it seemed somewhat robust and full of features. However, I wasn’t too impressed with the payments and pricing worksheet presentation.
The craziest vendor I ran across was Amyauto.com. Who comes up with of this stuff? “Welcome to the Future”? It’s another one of those creepy looking avatars that’s supposed to “enhance the customer experience, increase loyalty and improve revenues for higher profit”. WHAT?? Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh, but I’ve never been a fan of using avatars to replace the sales professional. Who knows, maybe I’m totally wrong and Amy will be the next BIG thing.
AutoTrader was introducing their 2007 product. Now you get to add multiple photos of your dealership and upload your video commercials…Wheeewhoo. I bet they want another $1,000 for that. I’m sure my rep will be calling me soon trying to pitch it.
The Dealer.com booth was busy during their demonstration speeches, they introduced their Sales360 product. I see they launched a new website as well and are offering complete Internet Marketing solutions for dealers. This company continues to improve and impress.
eBizAuto introduced a new Streaming Video product while going live with a fresh new website.
The most innovative product I ran across was Pick-n-Clickads.com. Pick-n-Clickads says you can FIRE YOUR AD AGENCY and bring it in-house using their software. I sat through a demo and was really impressed. It was my favorite product at NADA this year. Within minutes you can build your own TV, Radio, Newspaper (Print), Direct Mail and Online ads. Of course some of the TV and Radio ads are “caned” material but you get the freedom to customize it for your dealer. I think it’s a slick product and could be a threat to some dealer advertising agencies.
BZ Results was there of course. I didn’t stop by.
JMSolutions was showing off their newly acquired DealerUp CRM.
DealerSkins was there showing off their new Autobahn inventory product.
I’d like to give an honorable mention to a small company Attilanet Corporation for some impressive products like a DMS built on the Microsoft .net framework and some nice dealership websites with dedicated customer service to back them up.
I took notice to a lot of vendors missing on the convention floor. Cobalt, iMagicLabs, DealerOn, DealerImpact to mention a few. Many vendors have been opting out of spending the money for a booth on the convention floor while getting suites at local hotels and scheduling reservations for product demonstrations. I’m sure the ROI makes more sense this way.
Overall NADA 2007 was a decent display. Not a lot of new products but a lot of vendors working hard to improve and add to their existing. Many CRM’s vendors adding Desking solutions to their offerings; I think this will continue to be a trend. We’ll see where SEO and SEM takes us next year while keeping an eye on who can give some threat to the 300 lb gorilla AutoTrader.
Ebay goes live across the United States with it’s Local Market services.
Being located in one of the regions eBay was allowing dealers to test their Local Market service in beta, I jumped on board since we do a fair amount of eBay business with the national listings. eBay is a tricky market for Manufacturer dealers. You find yourself competing with a lot of independants that are able to run their business with little to no overhead. If they sell a car and make $500-1000, they are in business.
So far, the gross that I have made on the cars that I have sold on eBay were were nothing to get excited about. I always described eBay motors as a market between wholesale and retail, and closer to the wholesale side.
Here is a copy of the press release:
SAN JOSE, Calif.–eBay Motors today announced the launch of eBay Motors Local Market – a new subscription-based service that enables automotive dealers to easily upload and list their entire used-car lot for one low price.
The new service, which rolled out at the 90th National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention and Exposition in Las Vegas, allows automotive dealers to showcase their entire used-vehicle inventory including late model used-vehicles to customers within a 100-mile radius of the dealership.
“eBay Motors Local Market is designed to help dealers engage the growing number of consumers migrating online to find their next vehicle,” said Rob Chesney, senior director of eBay Motors. “Today’s consumers are demanding a one-stop automotive shopping experience that provides access to deep local inventory, the ability to negotiate price and the option of an in-person test drive.”
eBay Motors Local Market provides unmatched access to an enormous audience of buyers and offers dealers the opportunity to use eBay Motors to generate leads locally.
“The eBay Motors Local Market service has allowed me to list my entire inventory on eBay Motors for buyers to view,” said Internet Business Development Director Rick Namm, Infiniti of Coconut Creek, Fla. “This ultimately drives potential customers to our eBay Store and thus drives additional sales.”
The $1,000 monthly eBay Motors Local Market subscription covers listing fees for an unlimited amount of vehicles, with no individual insertion fee per vehicle. As with traditional eBay Motors listings, a $50 sale fee applies for vehicles that sell online wherein the buyer benefits from eBay’s extensive online buyer protection programs and dealers benefit by building transaction feedback that strengthens their eBay reputation. There is no contract or commitment required to use eBay Motors Local Market. Dealers adopting the eBay Motors Local Market product select from a number of certified eBay Motors solution providers such as Auction123, Dealer Specialties or eBizAutos to list their used vehicle inventory in bulk online.
All eBay Motors Local Market listings utilize eBay’s Best Offer format. Buyers submit their Best Offer, which the dealer can accept, reject or counter-offer to build buyer commitment and even negotiate the final price online. Buyers may also find a vehicle locally on eBay Motors and choose to go into the dealership to negotiate and close the transaction in person.
I heard Priority Toyota was using it down in Virginia, but it interesting none of their competitors are.
I’m completely new to the internet side. I’m the first person in this position at a Toyota Dealership. So I’m carving the way here but not sure steps I should be doing. I know we need an ISM tool ASAP but I don’t want to make a mistake on what one to choose. I have been looking at:
- AVV Webcontrol
- Rey Rey Contact Management
I have heard that AVV doesn’t have the best support when you run into problems. To be honest I’m really not sure exactly what I should be looking for in a tool, because any tool would be better then no tool at all, which I’m at right now. Any help would be great. Thanks!
Hello Jeff and DealerRefresh readers,
My name is Nathan Trimble, I am currently working with a Chevrolet – Cadillac dealer in Monmouth, IL.(a rural city of aprox. 10,000) where we are in process of establishing an Internet sales dept. along with a crm/bdc dept. also. In my quest for help in accomplishing this I came across your website. There are so many companies available to assist in a project of this sort that it’s overwhelming!
I have found that there are companies that exist just to help implement and train you on this process; i.e. Dealer Synergy & Mosley Auto Group. Then you have companies that provide websites, ilm and crm/bdc solutions.
Finally there are those few companies that seem to provide all of the above; i.e. BZ Results, Higher Gear, etc.
Would you please be as kind to help advise me in this situation? With so many companies to choose from which way should we go? Possibly hire a few like Mosely for set up and training, then iMagicLabs for
web, ilm & crm, or hire one to do it all? By no means am I asking anyone to endorse specific companies, just hopefully point me in the correct direction!
I thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter and look forward to hearing from you soon!
My Best to You,
Visible Customer, Dealer Synergy and Towbin Dodge are inviting (and sponsoring) you and a guest to a Towbin Dodge Event during NADA Friday Feb. 2nd.
will have an opportunity to see some “Chopper Edition” vehicles, tour
the dealership and be a special guest of the “King of Cars VIP tent.”
Naturally all the Towbin Dodge “Characters” will be there too.
Group #1 6:00 PM – 8:300 PM
Group #2 9:00 PM – 11:30 PM
I’ll be attending the 9:00 PM Group. Apparently there are Limited Spots so be sure to RSVP ASAP.
Find the RSVP information on the invite below or call 1-800-952-0168 and ask for Angela.
Thanks Sean Stapleton and Sean Bradley for my personal invite AND for inviting my readers!!
Looks like JMsolutions has bought DealerUps and their CRM program. I guess JMsolutions badly wanted a CRM to complete their over all package for dealers. I personaly was never too impressed with DealerUps CRM. When I had used it, it lacked a lot of ILM features.
"The DealerUps CRM enhances JMsolutions’ mission of
helping dealers achieve greater success through innovative products and
services," said JMsolutions President Scott Barrett. "It assures our ability to
support a dealer through all phases of the sales process- beginning with our
award-winning AAXT used vehicle inventory management solution to our ProFiT
F&I Menu product –we are there from start to finish."
I think we’ll stick to using their aaXchange software, which is actually a great product.
"Starting today (Jan 15th 2006), AutoTrader.com will highlight every Carfax One Owner vehicle listed by participating dealers. When used car shoppers search
inventory listed on AutoTrader.com, they can immediately identify cars with only one previous owner."
I think this is actually a good idea and something I was going to have
implemented on our new dealer website, but using the Blue 1 Owner logo you see on
the actual online CarFax.
I forget where but I think I recall reading that 1 Owner vehicles can bring
an average of $400-$600 more front end gross.