• Stop being a LURKER - join our dealer community and get involved. Sign up and start a conversation.

Digital Retailing for Dealers - What are your results?

Tarry Shebesta

Hat Trick
Mar 17, 2011
93
39
First Name
Tarry
Between 4-5x as many customers went through the process online in May compared to April. We had a tool change at the same time. June has been similar to May, so far.

How much do I attribute to the new tool vs changing customer behavior? Who knows.

All I know is that we have a TON of customers using our DR tool every day, and that wasn’t the case in the before times.
"Using the tool" - what does that mean?

When I asked a DR solution company if their traffic/engagement actually equated to increased lead volume like the rest of us saw, her reply was:

"... we don't look at leads, we look at prospective buyers since they are doing some kind of deal-making activity. With that said, we are seeing Prospects up about 44% nationwide, while order starts, the volume of people who click "buy this car" is up closer to 50%."

The bottom line for us is, did we actually sell more cars?

Don't get me wrong, anything is better than nothing, but as Nick Gorton, VP of Product Innovation, Edmunds

“Offering payments online …. may not hold as much value if consumers get a payment offer and simply use it to get a better deal somewhere else.” (in other words, Webrooming)
 

Tarry Shebesta

Hat Trick
Mar 17, 2011
93
39
First Name
Tarry
On a Pasch Podcast the CEO of CarNow stated 5.02% of customers will fully move through the digital retailing process without dealer assistance. That number increases to 12% with dealer assistance.
Thru GRAIL® DXP we are showing 13% that scheduled some sort of appointment or test drive on a vehicle that they've selected and have actually credit qualified for, unassisted.
 
Last edited:

Tarry Shebesta

Hat Trick
Mar 17, 2011
93
39
First Name
Tarry
I think it is time to begin pointing out the FUNCTIONAL differences between the tools out there. Every digital retailing tool does things a bit differently. And maybe this is best for another thread - you all tell me if that makes sense?

Some are chat focused. Others are 1,2,3 steps focused. One is credit first. Some use a combination of AIS and Chrome as their data sources. Some use MarketScan. Another does its calculations through Offerlogix plus some outside tax calculator. There are plenty of tools that neither calculate taxes & fees nor attempt to calculate a lease. Most only show a captive lender.

When it comes to calculations, this is where we separate the kiddie toys from the pros. Pro toys can be used on websites and in showrooms.

  1. If you are a new car dealer not showing accurate lease payments, you have your head in the sand about leases and all the benefits it offers.
  2. Taxes and fees/Out the door numbers are what the customer wants. There is plenty of technology that can do it now. The excuse of having to do this for every customer with some sort of dealership employee handling it is long gone.
  3. AIS and Chrome do not standardize their data nicely. It is up to the digital retailing tool to know a Sunroof and a Moonroof are the same things for example. Or to know you can't stack lease and loan rebates (I'm looking at you Dealer.com).
  4. Lastly, dealers who are still only looking at the captive for the first pass are missing out. Ally and US Bank, for example, update their rates throughout the month. They compete! And they routinely DESTROY OEM banks. If you base your specials off of the beginning of the month rates, you're missing out on some HUGE opportunities.
There are actually lots more, especially when you start adding real credit decisioning to the picture, not just a self-reported credit score. ;)
 

Rick Buffkin

Sausage King of Chicago
Oct 29, 2009
638
657
First Name
Rick
Guys, I think we need some diff metrics to measure this with.

Is Digital Retailing reducing the customers time in the store over other conversions thats happening on the website? If it is, show it.
Is it streamlining the sales process or does the sales rep still have to do all the steps to the sale. How is it streamlining the process. BTW - Get E-Price also helps to streamline the process as well. So does Chat.
(we've had a 52% increase in Get E-Price leads comparing Jan-Feb to April-May BTW)

I guess the question is, what metrics should be used? Closing Ratio, market share increase/decrease, Gross profit, customer time spent in-store????
 

Rob

Hat Trick
Apr 9, 2011
92
39
First Name
Rob
I'm sure a different tool made some difference but did you also change your CTA's on the CRP/VDP? I see you now have a large green button with "Buy From Home." Did you change this or was it the same with the previous Digital Retailing solution?

Any additional advertising around this new service? So many variables could sway this.
New CTA’s with the new tool, and a marketing push centered around it, although that didn’t start until mid May. So... yeah. Hard to pin down what percentage goes to what.
 

Rob

Hat Trick
Apr 9, 2011
92
39
First Name
Rob
"Using the tool" - what does that mean?

When I asked a DR solution company if their traffic/engagement actually equated to increased lead volume like the rest of us saw, her reply was:

"... we don't look at leads, we look at prospective buyers since they are doing some kind of deal-making activity. With that said, we are seeing Prospects up about 44% nationwide, while order starts, the volume of people who click "buy this car" is up closer to 50%."

The bottom line for us is, did we actually sell more cars?

Don't get me wrong, anything is better than nothing, but as Nick Gorton, VP of Product Innovation, Edmunds

“Offering payments online …. may not hold as much value if consumers get a payment offer and simply use it to get a better deal somewhere else.” (in other words, Webrooming)
What does using the tool mean? Getting payments at the least - many appraise a trade. A smaller number do a credit app.

Did we sell more cars? Yes.

I’m a simple guy. Easy to use tool that customers like to use + lots of leads + more cars sold = one happy camper.
 

Tarry Shebesta

Hat Trick
Mar 17, 2011
93
39
First Name
Tarry
Guys, I think we need some diff metrics to measure this with.

Is Digital Retailing reducing the customers time in the store over other conversions thats happening on the website? If it is, show it.
Is it streamlining the sales process or does the sales rep still have to do all the steps to the sale. How is it streamlining the process. BTW - Get E-Price also helps to streamline the process as well. So does Chat.
(we've had a 52% increase in Get E-Price leads comparing Jan-Feb to April-May BTW)

I guess the question is, what metrics should be used? Closing Ratio, market share increase/decrease, Gross profit, customer time spent in-store????
At the end of the day, it should be based on profit and sales.

I'll start :) trupayments-DXP-ROI.png
 

Rick Buffkin

Sausage King of Chicago
Oct 29, 2009
638
657
First Name
Rick
At the end of the day, it should be based on profit and sales.
I don't disagree with you @Tarry Shebesta. Those two items should be at the core reporting of any widget, program or additional product the dealer is subscribed to or paying for. I guess what I'm getting at is this: Digital Retailing products and tools are being pitched to dealers and dealers customers as a time saving and process streamlining tool. What, how and where are those metrics???

Is your tool saving the customer time in the store? Are you tracking it? Great! If you are, how???

Is your tool streamlining the in-store process or does the customer have to go through the entire process once they get to the dealership? If it does, great! How are you tracking and measuring that?

If the Digital Retailing tool is actually suppose to be taking the retailing portion of the process and truly making it digital, should we be comparing these tools closing ratio's to lead forms on the website or should we be comparing them to in-store floor traffic closing ratios. Or, compare them to phone-up closing ratios since the DR customer is alot further down the buying funnel. That poses another question. Where would you say these people are at in the buying funnel? Should the follow up with them be done differently compared to a chat lead or eprice lead??? Maybe the follow up process should be similar to that of a phone up or floor up. I'm just thinking out loud here.
 

Jessica R

Green Pea
Jun 12, 2019
3
1
First Name
Jessica
Hyundai has been requiring a digital retailing tool on their websites for 2 years now. In my experience with these products consumers will start some of the process but never fully finish. It also depends on how you promote it. Make sure its part of your dealer branding and in your advertising otherwise consumers don't know what it is. Make sure inside your dealership your sales team is using I-pads or Tablets and using this tool with the consumer it will help them understand and spread word of mouth the ease of use. There are several tools out there and many of them require you to put all your information in before you can even start. What i have seen is the results of those tools are less effective than a tool that allows the consumer to start the transaction without having to put in all their information to get the pricing. Roadster is one of those tools that requires you put in all your information before you can start.
CDK Connected store is ok but i have found the tool to be not accurate more often then correct.
 
  • 1
Reactions: Patrick O

John V.

Boss
Jan 15, 2015
105
117
First Name
John
Welp...as the OP I figured I would lurk back into the conversation after 18 months.....

We have been on DR since March of this year. Getting 50 to 80 customer penciled deals per month per store with about 70% including a trade-in. We close less than 10%. Even my store that has a 12 - 15% overall internet close rate is in the single digits. Here is my thinking on possible reasons why:
  • We suck
  • We treat it like any other lead vs. an "Order"
  • We still believe in front end gross on new cars so we won't take loser deals
  • Customers just use it to keep their local dealer honest
  • We tell every customer they have to come in to confirm pricing
So, back to my original questions from waaaayyyyy back in February 2019:
  1. Did your overall website lead volume (eprice/RMI/test drive) go up or down?
  2. Did you show F/I Products?
  3. How was the gross vs.non-DR sales?
  4. Was it a pain in the a** to get your payments to match your actual in-house specials or did you just run OEM incentives?
  5. Most importantly, Did it actually increase your sales and how are you attributing that?
My 4 store experience seems to be as follows for answering my own questions above
  1. I got WAY more full lead form competitions than I thought I would but most were duplicates of another existing lead record so overall lead volume did not increase.
  2. No F/I products shown because "that lowers product penetration" - don't give them the chance to say no before you even present the product.
  3. Store 1 = +$750 PVR Store 2 = +$843 PVR Store 3 = -$370 PVR Store 4 = +$527 versus Internet Sales average total gross. So that would be a "Yes" with the caveat that you are only looking at 10 to 20 deals per store over 4 months.
  4. This was actually easier than I though it would be. I was concerned that our get em in lease specials not matching the website would cause issues but it didn't.
  5. With this abysmal closing rate, I'm going with a "NO" it did not increase sales.