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Digital Retailing for Dealers - What are your results?

Rick Buffkin

Sausage King of Chicago
Oct 29, 2009
First Name
John V, while you're working 10-20 leads to get one sale, 5 silent internet buyers just walked in.
@joe.pistell, this could go the opposite way as well with the silent shoppers with showrooming. Customers showrooming could visit the site while in the showroom, use the Digital Retailing tool and end up leaving the store because the site shows one payment and desk manager showed another. So it could easily be -5. Jus say'n

"Crap, It almost the end of the month and this dealer looks like he has enough widgets on his website, doesn't need a Digital Retailing tool and is already spending enough money" said the vendor never!

John V.

Jan 15, 2015
First Name
While I do like to hear myself pontificate on the topic:blah:, I still would like to know if there are any dealers out there that can answer my original questions and hopefully @Zhendrix questions too. Does such a dealer exist...?

While I do appreciate the data @joe.pistell, the way my twisted mind reads it is that 48%+ are going to contact me through my website before just waltzing in. And JD Power still thinks Chevy's are dependable cars (shot fired:rocket:) so I mean, c'mon....why would I listen to them?
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Full Sticker + Prep
Sep 4, 2019
First Name
And JD Power still thinks Chevy's are dependable cars (shot fired:rocket:) so I mean, c'mon....why would I listen to them?
I like the data. Data makes my job easier, but for some reason any time that I "hear" JD Power I turn away immediately. We ALL know how these awards, trophies and such work.

But, c'mon, did anyone else notice the 8.44% in the EMAIL row? :)

Back to topic. I agree that Digital Retailing is going to be a major SELL for the dealership websites and services out there because they know buyers HATE coming into the showroom to get bothered. So why not "make the process easier". My experience is that it has caused a bit of confusion, especially if sales is not on the same page....

We have only tested it a small amount and I have no other data other than experience. I hope you can get answers to your questions because I would like to know as well. In the meanwhile, ePrice leads are piling up over here....


Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
First Name
Data makes my job easier, but for some reason any time that I "hear" JD Power I turn away immediately.
Agreed. I hear JD Power and I think suits in a board room handing out awards. When I hear Gallop Poll, I think of the true voice of the audience. Problem is that JD Power is a giant polling firm and it is the voice of the audience... but, it's also suits in a board room paying to get polled and -hoping- they do well in the polls.

JD Power's image sucks to everyone but the suits in the board room (even though they are the voice of the audience.)
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John V.

Jan 15, 2015
First Name
@John V. are you the Internet Store Manager? Are most of your ups from emails? Do you have to share ups with other reps?
Are you the Internet Store Manager? - I do everything from plunging toilets, installing printers, to signing contracts but yes, I guess you could say Marketing Director, etc.

Are most of your ups from emails? - Do you mean do I get more website leads than fresh ups? Yes.

Do you have to share ups with other reps? - Do reps share ups? Nope. Unless you haven't called that person in 3 days then someone can skate you and you don't get half. Internet, phone, fresh up doesn' t matter. Even if you sold them a car last year, if they don;t ask for you its not yours.

Why do you ask?
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4 Pounder
Apr 22, 2009
First Name
I guess that would be a philosophical question on "what is the purpose of your website?". I see it as a lead generator. Spend $$$ to send traffic to your site to convert those visits into leads and sales. I, personally, could care less if I had thousands of DR interactions, I want leads to work deals on. If it's not generating that, why have it? Eprice buttons also happen to be free - not $1,000++ per month as an add on to my site.

I also want to see answers to the 5 questions you posed.
Agree, with buts. Your websites goal and purpose should be to convert. Defining conversion and optimizing is where it gets tricky. There are enough third party plug-ins in our space that you could go broke selling cars. Adding more plug ins (trade in, coupons, calculators, etc) does not mean incremental leads or sales. ePrice buttons might be a "free" feature on your website, but you're still paying for the website, advertising to drive visitors, staff to answer leads...

DR tools might have a hard cost of $1k per month, but there are soft costs and unexpected intangible benefits of DR that have yet to be realized. For example: Reduction of staff and lower commission-able pay liabilities could be an unexpected benefit.

It really comes back to defining Digital Retailing. I don't think there needs to be one definition or even that it's the vendor's responsibility to define it. Each dealer should define it by their own use. For example, if you are using or comparing a digital retailing tool to your ePrice button then you should define digital retailing as a long tail quality lead form. If you are using a digital retailing tool to collect and make offers on trades then = trade in tool.

For some fun... and in regards to @joepistell survey, I did my own survey and got over 200 people to answer simple questions around dealership operations and digital retailing... Here's the survey in case you missed it. https://lnkd.in/gMVph5s

First, a funny disclaimer: Disclaimer: Surveys are biased. Survey results can vary dramatically depending on survey instructions/questions/answers, administrators, format, audience, etc. This survey was for fun. Dats it. Don't overthink it. Don't make business decisions without conducting your own research. Lastly, how likely are you to recommend Windows 10 to a friend? No one recommends operating systems to friends, just like no one knows what Digital Retailing is outside of our industry. Enjoy!

Quick Summary and thoughts:
-210 respondents (I guess I need more online friends)
-No one knows how many people it takes to run a new car dealership
-No one knows what an "internet manager" is.
-Around half of car shoppers never contact a dealer before purchasing
-People prefer email over text/phone/facetime when communicating with a dealer prior to purchase. My guess is the security, anonymity, filtering abilities email still provides.
-A bunch of respondents lied about knowing "what digital retailing was" or auto industry folks took the survey even when the instructions said not to. :)
-Almost 70% of people prefer coming into a dealership vs. purchasing online.


Alexander Lau

Under the Bridge
Feb 11, 2015
First Name
Yes! It is a HUGE topic on many dealers' minds. Is Digital Retailing something that truly sells cars online? Is it just another lead-capture gimmick? Does it make sense at all?

Those are some of the questions I get. Brian Pasch asked me to be on a panel to discuss this exact thing next month, so this thread would be an excellent warm-up if anyone has some more questions to throw out there.

View attachment 4368
No offense, but "Attribution" Summit? Is this fucking for real and that BS buzz still going on?

I'm guessing that dubious fraud Brian Pasch and his half-wit brothers have their hands in the take...?

Here's a question for you....
How much bullshit can a dealer take?

Jesus, Mary and Joseph!