Community

Share your automotive expertise

2 Write a Blog Post

Filed in: Used Car, Internet/BDC

New Polk Data: Do Online Shoppers Who Chat Buy Cars?

By Aaron Hassen on Dec 17, 2012

In an announcement published today, R.L. Polk confirmed that 1 in 3 car shoppers who initiated live chats with dealerships, in fact, purchased a vehicle within a 60-day period.  This analysis by Polk is the first of its kind and places a difinitive marker on what dealerships have individually claimed for some time.

Polk reviewed some 10,000 chats originating from dealer websites, online advertising sites and OEM websites, matching people who chatted to households with vehicle sales within a 60 day time frame.

The confirmation is significant as currently, 22% of dealerships (according to dealerchatmarketshare.com) include live chat on their websites and growing number of dealers look to make a decision on whether to adopt live chat in 2013.

Additional information on the Polk findings is available here.

Comments

Great article Aaron, thanks for sharing!

Dec 17, 2012

Thanks, Justin.

Dec 17, 2012

Although this is no surprise to those exposed to chat results in recent years, this is import data for those dealers, the majority, who still do not have chat on their sites. A significant number of shoppers want to chat, shoppers who actually buy vehicles from stores willing to answer their questions. Thanks so much Aaron.

Dec 17, 2012

Dennis, you've been a leading voice on this topic the last many years. Thanks for your comments and foresight.

Dec 17, 2012

Great article and also backed by a strong company (Polk) case study. Its amazing with so many solutions available for chat for car dealers that the numbers of those not using is so high. To add to those numbers from an insiders perspective, I can confidently tell you the dealers using our Managed 24/7 Chat solution generate 4 times as many leads (not conversations>>>> LEADS) than dealers who rely on forms submissions from their websites.
Chat has to be one of the biggest no brainers for any car dealer. Think of how many car dealers have aggressive PPC campaigns that send customers to a website to browse but yet never get greeted.

Dec 17, 2012

Great article. Agree with all above. It's interesting that more dealers have not jumped on this. It's like 3rd party internet advertising in the early 2000's. New? Yes. Effective? Very. Dealers should not let the early intenders beat them to this great source of leads and sales. There are a lot of good companies who provide chat out there. Dealers need to their do diligence and jump on board.

Dec 17, 2012

Very interesting stats. I guess that leads to the importance of chat on a dealer's website.

Dec 17, 2012

Jim, Ralph and Dave...Thanks for the positive comments.

Dec 21, 2012

Aaron,

While it's good to prove that chatters are in fact car shoppers, how do we prove that live chat is still a worthy expense for dealers? Is there any more detailed information about this study? Specifically, if a dealer didn't offer live chat, did the customer abandon that dealer's website? What is a dealer was slow to respond to live chat? What if the dealer failed to write well? Are telephone calls, or website leads, better alternatives to live chat?

Thanks,
Jeremy

Dec 27, 2012

Live chat also includes the ability to text message a dealer and get an immediate response. The dealer must have a simple way of making sure a representative is available at all times, or at least making sure that the live chat is not available when nobody is available to give a prompt response. Almost all live chats that I have seen to date are poorly implemented and most of the ones that are outsourced have been poor. I agree that 2013 is likely to be a pivotal year with these technologies, especially as more consumers are using mobile devices to search and interact.

Dec 27, 2012

Comments 1 - 10 of 15

You must be logged in to comment

Login Create an account

Add your comments:

   

Aaron Hassen's Recent Posts

Related Posts

  • Creating an Effective Email Marketing Strategy for a World of Mobile Users

    Mobile phones are a fact of life, and are growing fast. A 2014 Pew Research Center study found that smartphone use among US adults grew from 35% to 56% from May 2011 to May 2013. With growth that fast, dealers need to think mobile – it is definitely the future of our business! Read post

    By Cobalt on December 17, 2014

  • Are 11 pm Shoppers Serious Customers?

    How long does it take you to respond to an internet lead? An hour? Two? Ten?   I am in the market for a new vehicle and have been shopping around to my local dealers. I put in a lead at 3 pm (a prime time to submit leads) and I am penning this article at 10 pm.   Still no response to that lead.   And I really wanted someone to contact me. I guess I am moving on to the next dealership. If you think this scenario has not happened to you, you either have an amazing internet process in place or are in denial. I have written previously about the many (and I mean many) researched articles which have studied the viability of internet leads. These studies were lengthy (some up to three years) and analyzed/quantified large amounts of data. From the Harvard Business Review to The Lead Response Management Study, they have all concluded the same results. 10 minutes That is the amount of time in which you need to respond to a lead.   Seriously… 10 minutes to pen an amazing email...Read post

  • 3 Horrifying Fails of Dealership Follow-Up Emails

    Your dealership follow-up process impacts the effectiveness of everything from your live chat service to your advertising efforts. Without proper follow-up, shoppers don’t buy...and then your dealership doesn’t make any money. With that in mind, and you might want to sit down for this...after doing some research, I’ve discovered a horrifying reality…the email follow-up process is broken for many dealerships. Yes, you read that right. The email follow-up process is broken, and it needs mending ASAP! So in an effort to repair the dealership email follow-up process, I’ve outlined below three ways that dealership emails are currenting failing, and also given the solutions dealerships can use to prevent these horrible email fails and win back their shopper satisfaction and sales! Please, please, please - pay attention and fix these email follow-up issues if you see them happening at your dealership! They might be costing you lots of sales!   Fail #1: Using Bad Personalizati...Read post

  • 3 Ideas to Finish the Year Strong

    3 ideas for sales people to use in order to facilitate rapport building, close more deals, and hold gross.Read post

  • Web traffic never sleeps – neither should live chat

    Did you know 100,000 tweets are sent every minute? That pales in comparison to the 700 million Facebook posts per minute. People are living life online around the clock, and that includes shopping for cars. You don’t have a part-time website, so why would you only chat with your shoppers part time? The millions of tweets and Facebook posts referenced in this graphic from internet data company, DOMO, are 100 percent proof that buyers want to use their phone, tablet, and computer keyboards to communicate. Our data show that nearly a third of chat requests are generated after business hours and on Sundays. Why would you skip these opportunities? In the uber-competitive world of car sales, dealers can’t afford to do anything part-time and that includes live chat.  -------------------------------------------------------------------------- Tom LaPointe CarChat24 CHAT EXPERT 24/7 Interactive Automotive Dealer Website LIVE CHAT Solutions Hosted or In-House Options – FREE web ...Read post

  • When Fast Isn't Enough

    Leads are valuable. They are not only leads--they are potential customers. And whether you purchase those leads or if they are OEM leads, they have monetary value; regardless of when they come into your system. Read post

  • Getting Bang For The Buck On Facebook for Free!

      Well we all have it, we all post our social events on it, why not make some money from it!  It's probably on a lot of Internet managers minds. How can I sell on FACEBOOK!  Well I have a tid bit for you.  On your Facebook page search Swip-Swap pages for your local community. Some of these Facebook communities have over 20,000 member  in your local area.   We implemented adding fresh trades on our local swip-swap pages and we're getting hits. Keep it simple, 3 or 4 pictures, brief explanation of the vehicle,asking price and ask them to message you for more info... FREE!  You gotta love that!  Simple idea, that may help you sell more cars and you get the credit for the idea...  I don't mind...   Happy Social Selling..  ...Read post

  • Report: Top Sites Visited by Women When Buying A Car

    Womens-Drivers.com, the leading dealer ratings and review site for Women buyers, conducts ongoing research through our Women’s Satisfaction Index (WSI®) report to provide dealers with important insights into buying habits of women. Women-Drivers.com asks women to complete an optional 25 question survey about their dealership experience after completing a dealer review. An amazing ninety-two percent of women complete this extensive survey primarily to share their experience with other women! There are separate sections and questions asked for Shopping, Purchasing and Service. The survey also asks women to list the sites they visited during their shopping experience. Listed below are the top sites women visited from our most recent 3,200 surveys. 1. Dealership (41.27%) 2. Manufacturer (39.75%) 3. KBB (39.62%) 4. Consumer Reports (22.23%) 5. AutoTrader (21.34%) 6. Edmunds (20.38%) 7. Cars.com (18.85%) 8. Carfax (15.29%) 9. Craigslist (7.64%) 10. JD P...Read post