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If You Dropped AutoTrader - Where would you put the Money

Marc Lavoie

3rd Base Coach
Jan 3, 2019
203
147
First Name
Marc
I would take a portion of this, say 30-40% and invest into a proper Facebook Marketplace + FB Chatbot integration.

You can automate a huge chunk and see if it pays off for you.

Depending on your location, FB marketplace is on a rise, big time.
 
Jul 28, 2019
7
0
First Name
Devin
I would take a portion of this, say 30-40% and invest into a proper Facebook Marketplace + FB Chatbot integration.

You can automate a huge chunk and see if it pays off for you.

Depending on your location, FB marketplace is on a rise, big time.
+1 for this! I have a few dealership chat bots you can demo if you’d like.
 

Baron Ringler

Full Sticker
Jul 6, 2010
69
42
First Name
Baron
$7,100 a month - what was the average inventory size for used? what about for new?

We have approximately 150 Used cars at any one time, for that location. The other location runs about 120. I should mention they charged the same $7100 for each location, PLUS $5000 for our one location that does the Trade-in Marketplace/KBBICO. We cancelled the leads on both stores but kept the ICO portion at the one locale.
 

Baron Ringler

Full Sticker
Jul 6, 2010
69
42
First Name
Baron
Which 3rd party provider, has the best ROI for you? Are 3rd party listings still necessary?

Third Party providers are dying slowly. I'm not impressed with our returns on Cars.com. Edmunds is okay, but nothing wonderful. We do very well with Cargurus in this area (but Cargurus isn't for everyone - I've been to places where it is horrendously bad), and your Autobytels and similar are junk...absolute garbage. So limit your third parties and work to drive your own traffic. You may even consider pulling back on your manufacturer third party leads, because they are usually from Autobytel (the reason I detest Autobytel so much s that I've caught them in several scams, including recycling leads from several months back an sending them through as if they were new and recent opportunities).
 

Erick Kirks

Green Pea
Sep 28, 2016
7
10
First Name
Erick
We cancelled AutoTrader in 2015 but brought them back on in 2018 for about half of what our previous investments were. We use Clarivoy to help us better analyze sales influence of our marketing initiatives and are currently running a test pilot where Autotrader/KBB shares their data directly with Clarivoy. The results from this pilot show us that a staggering amount of people that end up buying cars from us engage with our inventory on 3rd party sites. A much smaller number of these buyers only engage with inventory on our websites. And yes, we are doing all the other things to drive traffic to our sites and we are doing it better than most, so it's not a situation where we are simply paying 3rd parties and ignoring our own SEO, SEM, Retargeting, Dynamic VIN social, etc, etc.

My conclusion is that simply looking at your CRM, no matter how deep you dive, is nothing close to reality of what people are doing before they purchase from you. Many shopper remain anonymous until they arrive on your lot to test drive. Advertising our inventory on 3rd party sites with the understanding that there is some redundancy/cross shopping happening between them and between our own website is a no-brainer for us.

The screenshot is August 2019 data. It includes high-end luxury, boutique brands and mass-market import brands. This data is from Clarivoy, not AT/KBB so it is being independently calculated with no alterior motive. In other words, it's not a vendor trying to prove how great they are.

Screen Shot 2019-09-26 at 8.50.33 AM.png
 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,822
1,371
Awards
2
First Name
Jeff
We cancelled AutoTrader in 2015 but brought them back on in 2018 for about half of what our previous investments were. We use Clarivoy to help us better analyze sales influence of our marketing initiatives and are currently running a test pilot where Autotrader/KBB shares their data directly with Clarivoy. The results from this pilot show us that a staggering amount of people that end up buying cars from us engage with our inventory on 3rd party sites. A much smaller number of these buyers only engage with inventory on our websites. And yes, we are doing all the other things to drive traffic to our sites and we are doing it better than most, so it's not a situation where we are simply paying 3rd parties and ignoring our own SEO, SEM, Retargeting, Dynamic VIN social, etc, etc.

My conclusion is that simply looking at your CRM, no matter how deep you dive, is nothing close to reality of what people are doing before they purchase from you. Many shopper remain anonymous until they arrive on your lot to test drive. Advertising our inventory on 3rd party sites with the understanding that there is some redundancy/cross shopping happening between them and between our own website is a no-brainer for us.

The screenshot is August 2019 data. It includes high-end luxury, boutique brands and mass-market import brands. This data is from Clarivoy, not AT/KBB so it is being independently calculated with no ulterior motive. In other words, it's not a vendor trying to prove how great they are.

View attachment 4316

What are they taking into account for "Sales Influenced with additional data?"
 

Erick Kirks

Green Pea
Sep 28, 2016
7
10
First Name
Erick
What are they taking into account for "Sales Influenced with additional data?"
That is the pilot aspect of the program. Cars.com, Cargurus, etc. share their data directly with Clarivoy. AT/KBB hasn't been. Essentially this is including the anonymous nature of customers who look at our inventory on these sites without taking any steps to identify themselves as a lead, click-through, etc. Other reporting can identify those shoppers who engaged with our inventory both on our site and 3rd parties as well as those that only anonymously viewed our inventory on 3rd parties.
 

Baron Ringler

Full Sticker
Jul 6, 2010
69
42
First Name
Baron
So, here's an interesting question in regards to putting your money elsewhere: do you really have to? If your store is otherwise getting good returns on other sources, "yes" you can and should look at other avenues right now. But what if you are getting poor numbers based on your own lack of production, and are just looking for a scapegoat? It's a question you have to be honest with yourself about. If you aren't performing at a high level, might it be better to not spend that money and work on improving your efficiency? You will always have opportunities to spend money, but when you are handed an opportunity to back off a little and work on fixing what is broken, you should take it and run.

Here, I dropped Auto Trader and 100 opportunities per month and really dug deep on the remainders,and my show count actually went UP! And taking those 100 leads out of the mix, my percentages started falling right in to line. Then I added Cargurus (which has been surprisingly effective), and their 125 leads per month, and my efficiency percentage only dropped slightly. So now I can feel more confident going to the owner and asking him to spend money because he knows it will be converted properly.

Now if I could only do the same with new cars...but "hey", I've only been here a few months so it's going to happen.

Some times, the deal you don't make is the best one you can have.
 

Dan Sayer

Boss
Dec 4, 2009
252
225
Awards
1
First Name
Dan
I think that a good investment would be in cryptocurrency, because it is a very volatile market, which is always changing, and because of this you can have enough income. Of course, there are a lot of apps to make money, which can bring you an income, with a smaller investment. I believe that the choice must be made in part by the person who will make the investment, depending on the risk that he is willing to insure. Investment can also be made in stocks, but changes are slower but safer.
you-get-spam-you-get-spam-everybody-gets-spam.jpg
 

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,822
1,371
Awards
2
First Name
Jeff

Some of these spammers are good! The obvious ones register between 2-4am, but now and again we'll get one that signs up during the day hours and convincingly fills out the registration form and will take the time to sign in and drop a simple comment(s) over a period of several months. They eventually ALL get caught. I don't get it. I don't understand why put all that work into having it all deleted. Maybe it's a numbers game.

Back to the original conversation...
 
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