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Digital Retailing - What are your results?

John V.

Getting Refreshed
Jan 15, 2015
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*If there is a thread out there that is similar to this please send me the link*

Not looking to get into a long draw out discussion about Digital Retailing (DR). I personally think it scares your customers away but that is just my stubborn self. All I really want to know is five things for those who are/were previously using a full suite of DR tools:
  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?
I really appreciate your feedback.
 

Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
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:iagree: sadly.

When you posted this I was pretty excited to see the questions. However, my concern for whether people were ready to answer these was high.
 
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John V.

Getting Refreshed
Jan 15, 2015
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TBH - I think a lot of people talk about doing DR but very few if any dealers besides the big dogs (paragon/norm reeves for example) are actually doing it and even they I think are embellishing their actual results.

Hopefully we get some respondents because I am genuinely interested in hearing about actual success stories.
 
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Marc Lavoie

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Jan 3, 2019
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In my experience a lot of folks will brag they "offer it" but when it's time to open the kimono everybody loses their tongue for some reason

The question you're asking is legit. I can't tell you how many times our clients doing DR asked us to supplement their business in quality prospects now that they made the jump.

I guess just like you, I'm still looking for a success story with facts to support the claim...
 
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C Dorman

Getting Refreshed
Aug 7, 2018
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I wish I could answer your questions, but I can't. And this is really hard for me to do, but I'm going to have to be politically correct and not name names.

I've been trying to get DR bolted on and set up correctly for two clients for a couple of months now. Two different brands, two very well known website providers.

Still trying.

It's been a nightmare. It just shouldn't have to be this hard. I think the problem lies with the DR tools coming from one company and nobody at the website providers really knowing how they work.

As to #4 on your list, apparently nobody involved with my two projects seems to think it's a good idea to run ads promoting, let's say an OEM lease payment, that can be linked to vehicle detail pages that can display that lease payment. This causes friction with shoppers that just shouldn't happen with today's technology.

I've seen a lot of cases where a buyer clicks on a deal, and then has to inquire to find out if the car(s) they landed on were available at that payment. These are knowledgeable buyers ready to pull the trigger. At this point we should be able to say, "Marketing, great job, grab a couple of beers, Sales, you're up." But because nothing lines up, we create mistrust and the impression of being incompetent. We manage to sell cars in spite of it, but I lie awake at night wondering what's going to happen when my competitor offers it correctly and we don't.
 
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Alex Snyder

President Skroob
May 1, 2006
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Am I allowed to wake this thread up again? Any takers?
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.

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Rick Buffkin

Sausage King of Chicago
Oct 29, 2009
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This is just my opinion here, I think that Digital Retailing is just a buzzword thats been inflated beyond belief by self proclaimed "Industry Professionals" and vendors that tell the dealers to jump on this bandwagon and amazingly that same vendor has a Digital Retailing tool to lead the dealers to the promise land. After the said "vendors" rigorous research and customer surveys, 9,000% of customers surveyed and researched want to buy their car this way and if you're a dealer without Digital Retailing, your gonna freaking wither and die. Sign here, press hard!

Ok... Maybe thats a little harsh. To be honest and real, I do have a question that I haven't really heard anyone ask yet about Digital Retailing. Just so that I understand this correctly... Vendors are advising and selling dealers to jump into Digital Retailing and basically model after a company (Carvana) with a Digital Retailing tool and the model company can't even pay their own light bill. They can't buy a tank of gas without borrowing money to do it with. Am I understanding this correctly????

@John V. My experience is with Dealer Inspires tool and hasn't been that great. The Online Shopper leads close at an avg. percentage but what we are getting alot of are duplicates. Duplicates galore. I think it's DI's tool process because if the visitor wants payments on more than one car, they have to keep re-entering their info for each vehicle and go through the process from the very beginning. After the 2nd or 3rd time, you start getting leads like "Mickey Mouse" and "Bugs Bunny". DI does have another tool that allows the customer to view multiple vehicles and payments at one time that they recently rolled out a few months back. I don't know what the cost is though.

***sidenote while I'm thinking about it... The e-pricer forms closing percentage is kicking all the other forms asses including Online Shopper. Crazy huh!!

Back to the Digital Retailing stuff. Vendors are pitching it. Industry Pro's are backing the vendors and the OEM's are drinking some of this Kool-Aid as well. Here's the thing. At the end of the day, the dealers are the ones thats paying the bill. If it fails, everybody gets paid except the dealer. To me, thats more along the lines of moral hazard.


Sorry if I got sidetracked with this post? It's been a crazy week and it's only Tuesday :)
 
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