MediaPost reported today that Edmunds is launching a new program called “Edmunds Exclusives” modeled on a Groupon – but offering locally targeted deals on new and used cars.
The details are here: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=152186&nid=127740
The program (now in beta in South Florida, but slated to roll out to other US markets this summer, and then nationally), gives ready-to-buy car shoppers access to local car deals directly at Edmunds.com. The goal, says Edmunds, is to give dealers and OEMs who have excess or slow-moving inventory a new way to move those cars.
They describe it as “cash-back, financing and leasing deals from dealers,” although it may also expand to include “deals on repairs and parts, maintenance and body shops, aftermarket audio dealers and auto broker services.” They’re starting by simply offering invitations to Edmunds.com visitors, but after it rolls out in other markets they will be “sending consumers direct offers through search strategies.”
Given that Groupon is the fastest-growing company in the history of the world…And given that there are HUNDREDS of full-blown “daily deal” and group buying sites in the US alone (with dozens servicing a single city). And given new GroupOn clones are sprouting up for every vertical imaginable…it’s not surprising news.
The new Edmunds model, of course, seems to be actually quite different than a GroupOn. The social/group buying - i.e., the group - aspect can’t be there, given the offer is for specific car models. And it’s not in real-time, Edmunds notes, because the cycle is logically based on the auto industry’s monthly sales targets/cycle. It does channel that wildly popular, just-for-members deal-offer-model that has become a global mania.
Car dealers suddenly have a lot of group-buying/daily deal sites to mull over: the Groupons of course – but also the brand-new Google Offers, Facebook Deals – and now the car-sales-specific Edmunds Exclusives.
This is a massive market and the hottest online category: comScore just predicted that the group-buying market will triple to $3 billion this year.
As more car dealers dip their toes into daily deal and group buying sites (whether with straight up deals like a super-discounted oil changes or maintenance jobs at a GroupOn - or by promoting cash-back or financing deals for new and used cars via an Edmunds), they will have to be sure (like the restaurants and spas that having been doing this for years), that they carefully set the right parameters for the deal. I.e., that the deal is strong and attractive enough, but at the same time manageable. And as with all marketing investments, that they carefully track their ROI – did it drive new customers that became repeat customers, generate incremental revenue over time, etc?
By Merla Turner, Director of Dealer Training at eXteresAUTO. (Rated #1 by dealers for both SEO and Online Reputation Management at this site)
If you have questions, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-994-2613