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MyDealerOnline

"Sell Before You Buy"

Three’s a Party: The Role of Third Party Sites in Automotive Retail

Traditional automotive retail consists of two main players; the dealer and the consumer. Modern automotive retail consists of the dealer, the consumer and every other factor that now influences consumers' car buying decisions. From consumer shopping guides, to dealership reviews, to social recommendations on Facebook, we are given countless resources as consumers to guide our purchasing decisions in today's digitally-connected, review-friendly society. When it comes to third party automotive sites, three’s a party as they offer benefits for both the dealer and the consumer. This blog post explores the impact of third party marketplaces in the automotive retail sector and introduces an innovative solution for remarketing vehicles. 

Trends show that consumer shopping behaviors favor third party sites, utilizing such marketplaces as trustworthy and objective informational resources throughout the decision-making process. In fact, 2 out of 3 new car buyers, and 4 out of 5 used car buyers rely on independent research sites and marketplaces as a key resource in their car buying process.1 "Consumers like to comparison shop, and they want unbiased information that third party sites provide," stated Alex Vetter, CEO of Cars.com, at the 2015 Automotive News Retail Forum.2 As fragmented as the auto retailing industry is today, independent dealers continue to rely on third party sites to market their inventory. Third party sites allow consumers to view an array of inventory, shop around and find a good deal. Convenience is key for today’s consumer and the convenience of third party sites is rooted in massive amounts of inventory, avenues for comparability and reliable consumer reviews all in one place. 

 

For dealers, third party sites offer marketing opportunities difficult for independent, franchise dealerships to initiate on their own. Third party sites are today’s classified newspapers ads with better results. "Few groups have the size and resources to strike out on their own and create websites sufficient to try to attract all the business they need internally," mentioned John Krafcik, President of TrueCar, Inc.3 Third party sites allow dealers to reach a wider audience, generate leads and advertise their dealership. According to Driving Sales News, 78% of consumers looking for used cars are using a third party site in their search. Out of this 78%, they also state that 60% of the time that consumers spend going through the buying process is spent on a third party site.4 With such a high percentage of lead and sale traffic coming from third-party sites, why wouldn’t every dealer's strategy focus on broadcasting their dealership on these types of marketplaces? 

 

Well for one, third party sites require a quality leads handling process and consistent communication to produce profitable ROI. Let’s face it, marketing inventory on these sites does come with a price and in order to reap the benefits in return, they require a significant amount of management and attention on the back-end. It is important for dealers to remember that many third party sites do not necessarily consider themselves lead providers but rather inventory marketing channels.5  Given the sheer volume of consumers visiting automotive marketplaces on a daily basis, third party sites offer viable avenues for dealers to market their inventory. However, third party sites do not necessarily serve as the lead-generating power tool designed to solve all dealer hardships in automotive retail. In the past few years, AutoNation has placed less emphasis on plugging money into third party site providers and turned its attention towards brand building. "I can pay them to build their brands, or I can build my own brand," referenced AutoNation's CEO, Mike Jackson, noting that the significant fees and subscription costs for online lead generation through third party sites simply wasn't worth the cost.6

 

Given the interesting twist of third party site advantages and disadvantages for dealers, what about a tool that offers consumers a massive selection of inventory AND provides dealers quality, manageable leads through their OWN website? MyDealerOnline's revolutionary software does just that. An auto remarketing tool designed for dealers to offer a greater inventory selection without increasing their upfront capital finance requirements, MyDealerOnline aggregates auto auction inventory and places it on subscribing dealers’ sites for consumer browsing. Car shopping consumers are able to browse this inventory tool and inquire about particular cars straight through MyDealerOnline’s interactive communication platform. Dealers get real-time lead alerts and consumers get fast responses to their inquiries. MyDealerOnline's solution bridges the gap between wholesale and retail, an opportunity not available through third party site providers. To learn more about this unique concept, visit mydealeronline.com for additional information. 

Could The “Car Salesman” Era Be Over?

When considering characteristics of car salesmen, what do you think of? Would it depend on how quickly you want to take home a car, the type of mood you are in, or simply past experiences? Car Salesmen are aggressive but successful, and also aggravating but consistent. It is because of these characteristics that car sales have been steadily selling in the past years of this industry. Edmunds.com decides to take a look at the profession from the salesman’s perspective rather than the customers.

 

There are two sides to every story. An enthusiastic author was assigned to go undercover as a car salesman to gain a better understanding for how the public reacts while looking for a new car. “Everyone knows that the car salesman or woman is the enemy. He or she is the person we have to do battle with if we want a new car,” he expressed. Much like other aspects in our lives, a majority of customers appreciate conducting research themselves followed by locking in the best possible deal. This brings about a sense of pride in their new purchase. Thanks to ever changing technology, this method is even made possible to the customer from the comfort of their own home.

 

As the author recalls, customers often generated a frightened or angry response to his initial greeting or sales pitch. Those who were frightened had fear of being pressured into buying a car that they are not ready for or is not right for them. Those who delivered an angry response found their hostility from various places, such as not wanting to be bothered. Regardless of their reaction, the fact of the matter is that more and more customers are gearing towards online research over traditional salesmen.


Which method do you believe customers would prefer? Give your customers the option of both by adding MyDealerOnline to your dealership by providing online inventory on and off your lot. By doing this, you are able to sell vehicles before you buy. By bringing option to your lot, you may discover customers aren’t the only ones converting to the technology age.

Autonomous Features in Cars Are No Longer an Anomaly in the Automotive Industry

The future might be just around the corner, as reported by AutoRemarketing. Research shows that autonomous cars, or cars that are able to drive on their own, may be readily available to the public in the millennials’ lifetime. Some experts further say that they could be presented to the public in as little as 10 years. 

Sounds impossible, but take into consideration the autonomous features that already are in existence. We have sensors that detect and signal warnings when our cars cross over into another lane. Autonomous braking has become a mandatory feature to some car  owners, especially those with families and small childautonomous carsren. Technology has gone as far as to create guided cruise control and parking assistance. As pointed out by Stratechery, electric cars, the most recent advance in technology for the auto industry, have skyrocketed in the market. Every country that has started producing electric cars faced their most profitable year in 2015. Autonomous features and electric cars are nothing new in the industry, but are today’s car drivers really ready for completely autonomous vehicles? 

It should not come to any surprise that nearly 70% out of 1,000 consumers who were surveyed last year stated that they would consider a vehicle with autonomous features. One surprise, however, may be that these autonomous cars are considered to be “luxury” cars, even if non-luxury brands are the ones being equipped with them. Consumers are becoming more and more accustomed to the idea of not having to manually drive their cars due to services such as Lyft and Uber, taxi providers that are controlled by an application on your smartphone.

In reference to used car dealerships, this new found technology will alter the various aspects of certification qualifications that enable vehicles to be considered a “used car”. There are going to be more regulations in regards to how different technologies in cars should work. This not only includes these autonomous cars, but also the existing cars with autonomous features. Would this increase or decrease the value of “used cars” if that term meant they would be automatically driven? Think about how manual cars currently come into play with this analogy and also how they play into the role of “classic” cars. 

Take a look inside what the future holds: Watch Me

MyDealerOnline, Inc. 

www.mydealeronline.com