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One of the benefits of Big Data research in the automotive retail industry, is the direct correlation that Vehicle Detail Page (VDP) views on vehicles have on the velocity by which they sell. As Scott Hernalsteen from Autotrader pointed out at the 2013 Driving Sales Executive Summit, dealers must have a clear merchandising and pricing strategy that makes their vehicles stand out from the competition.
A recent automotive study conducted by Cobalt, clearly shows that vehicles that have more VDP views sell faster. The chart, shown above, tells dealers that cars with more than 30 VDP views, sold on average in 76 days compared to 135 days when they had less than 20 views.
If dealers want to sell more cars, they need to get their inventory VDP's in front of as many Internet car shoppers as possible. A strategy that increases VDP views will increase the velocity of cars sold at the dealership. Thus, dealers should be focused on one question:
How do I get more consumers to select and view my Vehicle Detail Pages?
Dealers who want to increase VDP views, have to be careful about the costs to drive consumer traffic to their VDP's.
Dealers drive traffic to their website by using traditional media (radio, TV, newspaper), as well as digital marketing strategies (Adwords, Craigslist, Autotrader.com, Cars.com, Social Media).
Dealers normally evaluate their marketing investments in terms of Cost Per Lead (CPL) or Cost Per Sale (CPS) metrics. However, the majority of consumers do not submit a lead or call the dealership before they walk in the showroom.
Dealers who focus on VDP trends on their website and VDP trends on third party websites are tracking the shopping behavior of all shoppers; not just the ones that submit a lead.
Dealers need to look at VDP View trends on their website, like shown below: For this dealer their marketing investments are increasing VDP views on their own website. In two seconds this dealer could see that they were heading in the right direction!
Since it is easy to see which strategies are increasing VDP views, they can look further into each traffic source to see the costs associated with that traffic.
In the graphic below, dealers can easily see which referral sources are generating the highest number of VDP views:
Once you see trends, dealers need to focus on the cost to drive a VDP view!
Google Adwords is one digital advertising strategy used by most dealers. Few dealers receive monthly reports on how well their Adwords campaigns are working to drive consumers to view their inventory.
Adwords campaigns that are evaluated on a Cost Per Lead (CPL) can be further OPTIMIZED when dealers seek to find ways to lower the Cost per VDP View with their Adwords vendor.
For this dealer, you can see a wide range of VDP view costs starting at $1.67 per VDP view and going as high as $9.72 per VDP view. By looking at Adwords campaigns through this lens, dealers can ask their Adwords vendor to test landing page changes, keyword choices, or ad copy to increase the percentage of clicks that look at Vehicle Detail Pages.
Why is a focus on VDP views this important? If dealers can lower the cost per VDP, they can accelerate car sales at a lower cost! That is not a trival result when you consider how much money dealers spend on marketing per month.
Brian Pasch, CEO