cars.com numbers?

Linda Loepker
Anyone seeing INCREASES in activity?
Lauren Moses
Linda, How big of an increase have you seen? Enough to make you think that it's not just actual customers?
Linda Loepker
We are declining. for June: 0 phones calls (!!!!), 3 emails, no chats.
Lauren Moses
Have you tried to call the numbers that you have listed just to make sure that they are connecting correctly? Also, we don't see a ton of chats either so I wouldn't worry to much on that front. These are our numbers for June. Used Car Emails 6 New Car Emails 1 Used Car Phone Prospects 8 New Car Phone Prospects 1 Used Chat Prospects 3 New Chat Prospects 1 Click-Thrus To Your Website 2 Vehicle Ads Printed 0 Maps Viewed 9 Total Contacts 31 All of those chats were testing it on our end after me getting a new computer so we actually only had 1 actual chat. For the phone calls I really think it may be something technical. It's very strange to not have ANY calls at all. What is your average inventory size if you don't mind me asking? Do ya'll have new, used, or both?
Linda Loepker
Thanks, Lauren - numbers are working, although the first time I called on our used number, the person who answered just hung up - said there was no one there. Second time, worked fine. Long wait before it even starts ringing at the dealership. We have roughly 50 new / 50 used on the lot. We are down on both, running around 35 of each. We had a total of 21 contacts, less than half of last month or a year ago.
Dennis Galbraith
Linda, you will find a direct relationship between inventory and contacts, but it's not just the quantity of inventory, its the diversity and how well they are merchandised. For new cars, there are some searches you don't have any chance of showing up on because you just don't have any in stock at this time (e.g. Trax, Tahoe, Suburban, Spark). A 20 mile search from 62221 (Shiloh, IL) shows 80 new Impalas, 2 of which are yours. However, the prices are almost identical, so they show up right next to each other in the default search result. Each of those vehicles has fewer photos on Cars.com then they show on your website. I'm not sure how or why that would happen, but a vehicle with only 3 photos is not going to generate as many contacts as one with 20. Time permitting, I'd encourage you to add videos to your vehicles and custom text descriptions. That will help on your website and on listings like Cars.com. The configuration of your used inventory can make a huge difference. Sometimes you can have a disproportionately high number of vehicles that don't get searched for much. Check to see which vehicles are not getting many VDPs. I'm going to guess you're not getting much online action for the 2007 Mercury Monterey or the 2008 Saturn Vue. Even if you get a good price on them, rural dealers who rely on inventory listings like Cars.com need to be particularly careful about having too many low-viability vehicles at the same time. Also, consider Search Engine Marketing to drive traffic directly to your site for the inventory you do have. When you don't have a particular model you don't pay for the portion of the audience looking for one. There are some good vendor choices in the SEM-PPC section of the DrivingSales ratings. I hope you will choose our Digital AMMP, but wish you the very best of luck regardless of where you place your digital marketing dollars.

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