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

  • New Craigslist listing issue

    Craigslist has had a change in layout and search abilities for awhile but there is a major issue in their new filters. Dealerships are missing a ton of searches when a customer is filtering down the search. The image I included in this post shows how consumers now have the ability to search by type: truck, sedan, convertible, wagon, and other criteria....but a lot of dealers feeds are notRead post

  • Driving sales executive summit ....what did you think?

    I just attended my 3rd driving sales executive summit. This was by far the best one yet. We had a chance to learn from some of the best internet marketing people in the business. The keynote speakers were very informative and easy to follow.  The topics they covered were relevant and cutting edge. I especially liked the info that Jared shared with us about customer experience. He shared some eye opening information. The best way to set ourselves apart from other dealerships is to provide a better customer experience. The breakout sessions were great this year as well. I especially liked the one that Allyn Hayne from Launch gave. It was titled blurring the lines between social media and seo. It was great! He shared some of the most recent changes with google. If you did not see this session make sure that you watch the video when it is released by driving sales. While I know that this conference has an expense …it is well worth it. The time out of the store is hard as well but the...Read post

  • Flick Fusion Releases InstaVid, An Automated Video Production Service That Helps Auto Dealers Move Metal Faster

    Urbandale, IA--October 27th, 2014--Flick Fusion (www.flickfusion.com), the industry's leading video marketing provider, today released InstaVid, an automated video production service that instantly creates and distributes new and pre-owned inventory videos for auto dealers. In many dealerships, the average time it takes to get photos of inventory for listings and videos is two to three days. InstaVid eliminates that wait time so the dealership can immediately benefit from video SEO and reduce the time that vehicles sit on their lot.   "InstaVid helps dealers move metal faster," said Brian Cox, President and CEO of Flick Fusion Video Marketing. "Within hours of a vehicle arriving on a lot, dealers can have videos of that vehicle all over the Internet, generating immediate video SEO. Why wait days to market your inventory when you can begin to attract video views and website visitors instantly?"   Many dealerships don't create any inventory videos or listings for new vehicles. Havi...Read post

  • Mobile Search Rank Study Shows It's Good to Be #1

    If you've spent any time on the marketing side of your dealership, you know how valuable organic search traffic is. But in order to receive a large amount of search traffic, you need to rank for a variety of different keywords, which means having a properly-optimized website, high-quality content, and inbound links from authoritative sites.   Now, on the desktop side, there have been plenty of studies that prove that the #1 organic result on Google receives the brunt of the clicks. As Google users become more familiar with searching for information online, and Google updates its algorithm to provide better overall results, though, the number of people who click on the first result has gone down significantly.   (This is also a sign that your metadata--which is the information displayed about your page on Google and other search engines--needs to be optimized so users can understand what your content is about, which will increase clickthroughs to your dealership's website.) Read post

  • Why Customers Leave Without Buying A Car And What To Do About It

    What's the most creative reason you've heard from a customer who is leaving your dealership lot without purchasing? Sure there are the typical, "have to check with my spouse," and "have to pick up my kids at their soccer game." Then there are the more atypical reasons: "I have a dentist appointment," or "My mother-in-law's in town." If it's one of the latter, warning bells should be ringing. Who would rather go to a dentist appointment or visit with their mother-in-law than buy a car?   According to AutoLoop Engage's call center statistics, only three percent of customers who leave without purchasing give the salesperson the real reason. Our agents have connected and engaged with thousands of unsold customers and here is why they're really leaving, according to our data:   55 percent leave because of payments/price/trade-in issues 26 percent leave because of inventory issues; your dealership didn't have the exact color or model they wanted 16 percent left because they had a bad...Read post

  • Conquesting 2.0: Attract Cross-Shoppers With Search Remarketing to Capture More Sales

    Once a qualified buyer browses your website and leaves to check out your competition, what tactics do you have in place to bring her back to choose your model? My most successful dealers have addressed this opportunity by combining two tactics that have been proven to drive increases in return website visits by cross-shoppers using mobile devices and PCs. Put simply, we’re running search ads in a new way that’s actually getting a response to help our dealers meet their sales goals consistently. Read post

  • 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