ATLANTA, GA, January 16, 2017 – CompetitorPro, the first competitive intelligence software built specifically for auto dealerships, reported today that December dealership performance metrics signaled caution as we move into the new year:
“It’s a healthy sign that dealers were able to reduce inventories of new and used vehicles on their lots, in anticipation of a softer Q1 2017,” said Steve Greenfield, founder and CEO of CompetitorPro.
CompetitorPro is the auto retail industry’s first competitive intelligence solution, providing automobile dealers with actionable, in-depth performance metrics on their top competitors.
“With the record-breaking level of new car incentives driving consumer demand, car sales are likely to start to slow down in the near future,” he said CompetitorPro’s analysis indicates. “This is supported by the fact that we’re seeing softening consumer engagement metrics across franchised dealership websites."
CompetitorPro will provide NADA ‘17 attendees a free analysis of how they compare against their top local competitor. Visit Booth 5607 during January 26-29 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Visit http://www.competitorpro.comfor a demo.
Key web metrics
CompetitorPro’s analysis of over 20,000 franchised dealership websites shows that consumer engagement metrics softened in December:
Weakening website engagement in December may mean we see a softening in new and used vehicle sales for dealers in Q1 2017. Research shows that consumers typically spend an average of three months shopping online before they buy a vehicle, although consumer traffic to dealership websites is closer to their date of purchase.
Other industry sources also point to shifting short term market dynamics.
AutoWeek reported that new car sales in December hit a record high, driving the seventh straight year of sales gains. Last year full-year sales came in at 17.5M cars and light trucks. The seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate (SAAR) in December hit 18.38M, the highest of 2016, and the fifth-highest SAAR of all time.
OEMs have their new car incentive spigots wide open. ALG estimates that the average incentive on new vehicles increased 20% last month to $3,673 per vehicle sold.
For used cars, Edmunds estimates that December was the highest sales month of the year, beating December 2015’s count of 1.1M used vehicles sold. The SAAR for used-car sales for 2016 sits at 37.9 million units.
Industry analysts are cautiously optimistic about vehicle sales in 2017, but few (if any) are forecasting higher overall sales. Peaking vehicle sales is supported by weakening consumer engagement on dealership websites.
It’s worth noting, according to CompetitorPro data, the large variability of individual dealership performance across these consumer engagement metrics:
Dynamics driving sales efficiency
An environment of increasing sales with decreasing website engagement metrics is driving more efficiency — taking fewer website visits to yield a sale:
“We’re thrilled to be able to bring this level of transparency to helping dealers benchmark their website performance,” said Greenfield. “Dealerships now better understand how they perform relative to their competition, enabling more informed conversations with both their dealership website vendors as well as their marketing agencies.
"At CompetitorPro, we’re a big believer in bringing actionable insights to a dealer’s operations. Despite having access to an overwhelming amount of data, the industry has a long way to go towards providing dealerships with comparative metrics versus other dealers — so they know exactly where to focus to improve their operations,” Greenfield said.
CompetitorPro is the industry’s first competitive intelligence tool built specifically for automotive dealerships.
As dealers look for ways to compete more effectively, advanced competitive intelligence solutions provide accuracy, analytics, and actionable recommendations that are missing in the market today. CompetitorPro’s competitive intelligence solutions utilize complex algorithms that summarize insights so dealers can perform at the highest level of effectiveness in today’s dynamic marketplace.
Visit NADA, booth 5607 to get a free competitive analysis of how your store compares to your key competitor’s performance metrics. Visit www.competitorpro.com now for a demo. For more information, contact Steve Greenfield at (470) 223-0227.