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

  • Mobile Click-to-Call vs. Tap-to-Text: Controversial or Complementary?

    A July 2014 Automotive News article sang the praises of phone calls over email and form leads, citing faster responses and ease of use via mobile. What it didn't point out, though, is that text-based, one-to-one messaging is worthy of a verse or two as well.Read post

  • AutoLoop Welcomes Sales Rep Sean Donovan

    Clearwater, FL--October 21st, 2014--AutoLoop LLC, a leading developer of sales-generation and customer-retention software for auto dealers, today announced the addition of Sean Donovan as Sales Representative for western North America. Donovan brings nearly 20 years of automotive marketing, technology, and analytics experience to the team, and his new position emphasizes AutoLoop’s continued expansion into the western U.S. market.   “Sean’s an exciting addition,” said John Bottone, AutoLoop’s Vice President of National Sales. “He has a deep understanding of our products and the ways dealers can benefit from them. Having him on the team will be a tremendous asset to our ongoing success in the west coast markets.”   Before joining AutoLoop, Donovan served at dealerships throughout the western U.S., and has watched how the rise of mobile devices has affected the consumer purchasing process. “Today’s dealers must focus stronger efforts on engaging and retaining cust...Read post

  • Want to sell more cars - KISS IT!

    Selling cars can be a challenging venture. You hope someone comes in to buy, then try to convince them your product and your dealership are their best choice. I have great admiration for entrepreneurs, especially ones trying to carve a niche in the automotive vendor space. To find success, you have to have a hook, a new way to look at old challenges, and inspire dealers and / or management teams to buy into your concept. At the end of the day, though, it isn't specifically about the semantics of calling it steps to the sale or the road to the sale, selling a car is about connecting with PEOPLE - one at a time and in a manner that builds a relationship. If that isn't part of the 'selling process' than selling a car is more akin to being on the highway to hell! If you can't connect with your buyer on a human level, you are literally just a number - the price you give them. Therefore, the best way to sell a car is to Keep it Simple, Silly - or KISS. Whether it's in the showroom, over t...Read post

  • 3 Halloween Ideas for Car Dealerships

    Trick or treat! There’s a little less than two weeks until Halloween! Does your dealership have a plan for how to bring more shoppers into the showroom and service bays during this fun and hopefully-not-too-scary time? You should! Holidays are always an opportune time to foster some community spirit and be the host to memorable events for your customers and prospects. If you’re struggling with coming up with ideas for how to celebrate Halloween while bringing in more sales, I’ve put together a few ideas below that are sure to get your community excited to come see you.   Throw a Community Halloween Party Everyone loves a party, right? Provide food, drinks, and music, have a costume contest with prizes, set up a haunted house, hayrides pulled by a truck (to show off the impressive strength of your vehicles) give out candy, and make sure everyone has a good time. Events like these build community bonds and even if the attendees don’t buy a car while they are there, theyRead post

  • DrivingSales Announces Innovation Cup and Dealer Best Idea Award Winners for 2014

     New Car IQ from Pearl Technology wins 2014 Innovation Cup Award and “YouTube Postal Service” from Robert Karbaum E-Commerce Manager, Weins Canada Inc./Don Valley North Lexus, wins the 2014 Dealer Best Idea Award; presented at 2014 DrivingSales Executive Summit     Salt Lake City, Utah – October 20, 2014 – DrivingSales today announced the winners of the 2014 DrivingSales Innovation Cup and Dealer Best Idea Awards. “New Car IQ” from Pearl Technology won The Innovation Cup Award for the most innovative dealership solution of the year. Robert Karbaum, E-Commerce Manager, Weins Canada Inc./Don Valley North Lexus took the Dealer Best Idea Award for “YouTube Postal Service.” This is the second year in a row Karbaum has won the award. The awards were presented in Las Vegas on October 14th at the sold-out DrivingSales Executive Summit (DSES). Over 1,000 dealers and industry professionals attended the three-day event, which concluded on Tuesday.   “It always gives me g...Read post

  • Your "SEO Guy" Is Laughing The Whole Way To The Bank

    An in-depth look at whether SEO is alive or dead and what you need to know RIGHT NOW to save your website and your bottom line.Read post

  • Incoming! Why Every Phone Call Should Be Treated as Mission Critical

    When was the last time you tried calling into your own--or another--dealership? Chances are high that the phone went unanswered, you were put on hold, routed into voicemail or were told that the sales or service person you're trying to reach is out to lunch.   The latest data collected from our call center agents is overwhelming: car dealers are missing way too many sales and service opportunities from lost phone leads. Behind showroom ups, these are the highest value inquiries with high close rates and fast turnaround times.    Here are the facts:   Only one in six incoming calls to dealerships is handled properly; that is, the customer connects with a person who can help them with their inquiry   Seventy percent of inbound calls to the service department are directed into voicemail or result in customer hang-ups due to long hold times   Don't blame the receptionist. Many receptionists become jacks-of-all-trades in dealerships; in addition to answering phones they are ex...Read post

  • Recap of the Best Tweets from DSES 2014

    In case you missed the great dealer education opportunity that happened in Las Vegas this week, ActivEngage has put together a Twitter Recap of some of the best key takeaway tweeted messages from the DrivingSales Executive Summit!  Check out them out, learn something, and apply them to your dealership’s processes NOW!   Employee retention is cheaper than employee acquisition. You’re spending more in training new employees every month than keeping them happy with simple surprises. #DSES @skeetle — Subi Ghosh (@subi101) October 13, 2014   Your mobile sites affects your reputation. 57% of users won't recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.#dses — Jeff Kershner (@dealerrefresh) October 13, 2014   Make sure shoppers can find your website while searching on their mobile phone. Sometimes mobile is the ONLY way they will find you. "If you aren't relevant to your consumers phone, you aren't relevant to them"#dses2014 — BreAnna Fisher (@FisherBre) O...Read post