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MyDealerOnline

"Sell Before You Buy"

Tricks of the Trade for Improving Inventory Acquisition from Auctions

Auto industry guru, Dale Pollack, recently wrote an article in AutoRemarketing on "four ways to turn auctions cars into advantage" at used-car dealerships. Pollack suggests the following recommendations for dealers to instrumentally source auction cars:

  1. Know exactly what to buy
  2. Know where to buy
  3. Buy at the right price
  4. Do it all faster

Any professional in the pre-owned industry knows that acquiring profitable, quickly-sold inventory requires a lot of skill and a little bit of luck. Unfortunately, predetermining the exact make, model, year, mileage, etc. of car that the next customer who walks onto your lot is going to want is not technically an equation that one can figure out easily beforehand. Honing down on particular skills and taking advantage of certain technologies that provide various inventory sourcing solutions will help dealers learn how to acquire top selling cars from auctions.  

The first strategic alteration to devising a profitable vehicle acquisition strategy is knowing exactly what to buy. Although some dealers may argue that part of the fun of auctions is relying on professional knowledge and taking a bit of a gamble to win a bidding war, why not combine those two thrills with a touch of car-specific precision? As technology continues to connect consumers to a greater selection of vehicles, dealers should also leverage their own technological resources to acquire a varied selection of vehicles to fill their lot.

In a congruent AutoRemarketing article, DealerSocket's, Michael Waterman, mentions that, “As the “traditional” customer continues to evolve and has significantly more choice, it’s critical that managers leverage a fully integrated inventory management platform to ensure that science, rather than anecdotes and gut feeling, is driving their vehicle-acquisition strategy.” There are a plethora of inventory management tools available for dealers, as well as unique inventory providers, such as MyDealerOnline. MyDealerOnline eliminates the guess work for dealers at auctions and allows them to bid on vehicles that customers already intend to buy. With the ability to display thousands of auction vehicles on a dealer's website using MyDealerOnline's platform, customers can actually request to order a car that is not even on the dealer's lot. With customers already requesting particular vehicles at auctions, it is simply the dealers job to go retrieve those vehicles. Dealers know exactly what to buy with MyDealerOnline's technology. 

Knowing where to buy is another key factor to sourcing inventory from auctions. As more and more competition enters the pre-owned sector, particularly with the influx of franchise dealers, independent dealers must acclimate by increasing their sources for inventory. "With increased competition to acquire auction cars, many dealers recognize they need to expand their sourcing efforts beyond the local auction," states Pollack.

Closed auctions make it increasingly difficult for independent dealers to compete with their franchised counterparts. A proactive alternative is resorting to online auctions, where independent
dealers can attend multiple auction lanes remotely. MyDealerOnline provides access to remote auctions straight from the dealer's website. Not only do dealers have access to thousands of offsite auction vehicles, but their customers can also choose from pre-owned vehicles at these remote auction locations.

Source: NIADA Independent Dealership Action Report Fall 2015

 

Another recommendation is using bidding precision and discipline in the lanes to ensure buying at the right price. Even the most competitive bidders need to stick to their maximum bid in order to guarantee a worthwhile profit. "Careful examination of a vehicle's daily profitability is a dealer's secret weapon," claims Waterman. Dealers now have access to tools that calculate each vehicle's profit potential before even making a bid. Imagine collecting a down payment on a vehicle and having a customer decide the maximum price they want you to bid on an auction vehicle?! Make that scenario a reality with MyDealerOnline, where dealers put the buying decision in the consumers' hands. Dealers are able to preset their profit margins and let the customer determine how much they are willing to pay before the vehicle is even purchased. 

The last key to profitable inventory acquisition is doing it all faster. The longer a car collects dust on a dealer's lot, the less potential for a profitable return that car provides. Rather than gathering aging inventory, have a customer lined up on the retail side straight from the wholesale line. MyDealerOnline serves to bridge the gap between wholesale and retail, connecting retail shoppers to wholesale vehicle suppliers. Shortened sale cycles allow more time for selling and less time bidding on the wrong cars. With a few strategy tweaks to inventory acquisition, along with the help of technologies like MyDealerOnline, independent dealers can maximize profits and improve inventory purchases for their dealership's advantage. 

To learn more, visit mydealeronline.com

 

MyDealerOnline Mentioned in TechCrunch as Quality Lead Generator for the Automotive Sector

In a recent TechCrunch article, "The Future of Lead Generation," MyDealerOnline is mentioned as a startup aimed at empowering both consumers and dealers during the car buying and selling process. With MyDealerOnline's technology, consumers are given access to automotive auction inventory, presenting car shoppers with a greater selection of vehicles at the best possible prices. Traditionally, quality auction vehicles are only obtained by licensed car dealers at dealer-only auctions. MyDealerOnline's technology connects consumers to auction inventory by allowing dealers to display thousands of auction vehicles on their websites, growing their online automotive listings and increasing their inventory selection for consumers. 

In an age where companies are paying monthly dues for qualified leads and social "likes" to grow their customer base, powerful lead generation tools are as valuable as they come. Any veteran professional in the automotive  industry knows that letting a lead slip through the cracks could mean missing the sale of a car that has been sitting on their lot far past it's expiration date. With MyDealerOnline's digital communication platform, dealers can interact with eager consumers across the web as they are shopping for their next car. Through MyDealerOnline's lead management system, consumers can request more information about a vehicle, send a message, request a phone and even ask the dealer to place a bid on a car located at an offsite auction. MyDealerOnline's real-time notification system alerts dealers when a consumer is interested in a car on their website, preventing dealers from ever missing a lead inquiry. 

The ability to turn potential customers into lifelong customers comes down to capturing leads when they are looking and where they are looking during their purchasing decision. As highlighted in a previous MyDealerOnline's blog post about the power of lead generation, MyDealerOnline provides an all encompassing solution for dealers to maintain leads and capture customers before the dealer down the street is ever given the opportunity. MyDealerOnline not only provides consumers access to thousands of auction vehicles that are otherwise unattainable to the public, but also provides dealers with a lead generation tool essential for sustainability and growth in today's lead-hungry economy. 

Original article published on LinkedIn by Carly Fitzpatrick 

Independent Dealers Have No Fear, Online Inventory is Here

As more and more franchise dealerships step into the used-car sector, independent used-car dealers are finding themselves with greater competition than ever before. Not only are they competing with the dozens of other independent dealerships within a five mile radius, but also the colossal franchise dealerships with a greater inventory selection and a seemingless endless stream of cash flow.  With 40 million used cars sold in 2015, both franchise and independent dealers are fighting for a piece of the pre-owned industry’s profit. By examining DealerSocket’s Independent Dealership Action Report, we can determine the greatest challenges independent, used-car dealers encountered last year and more importantly, how to solve those challenges.

When asked what was the most important problem plaguing their dealerships in the year 2015, independent dealers responded that their top two greatest challenges included:

1. Inventory Acquisition (31%)

2. Capital to Finance Inventory (21%)

 

Coincidentally, return on investment and revenue growth ranked as the number one goal of independent dealers polled in the report. With inventory and capital proving to be the biggest challenges along with ROI and revenue growth serving as the top priority, it is evident that, “There is a direct correlation between independent dealers’ top challenge — inventory acquisition — and their No. 1 initiative — ROI/revenue growth,” the report notes. “In a circular fashion, acquiring more inventory will increase revenue and cash capital to finance more cars.”

 

The DealerSocket report concludes with suggestions for increasing both inventory and capital as well as advice for growing dealership revenue. 

INCREASING INVENTORY & CAPITAL

  • Expanding inventory search online and attracting individual sellers
  • Understanding car buyers and purchasing inventory based on their needs
  • Utilizing tools like a lender portal to offer more financing options to your customers

GROWING DEALERSHIP REVENUE 

  • Leveraging technology, like CRM, that is cost-effective and yields high returns
  • Improving selling skills, like phone handling, to raise closing rates by source
  • Decreasing spend of traditional advertising 
  • Creating a digital shopping experience that drives consumer engagement 

Looking for a technological tool to reduce your dealership's pain points and increase your dealership's competitiveness? MyDealerOnline offers a unique solution for independent, used-car dealers. With our technology, you can place auction inventory on your website or create your own custom website pre-loaded with auction inventory. Better yet, our services come with a low monthly subscription so you do not even have to finance this inventory to display on your website. Add auction inventory to your online listings, increase your digital presence and provide a greater selection of vehicles with MyDealerOnline's technology. 

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. 

Bringing the Auto Industry Up to Speed with Modern Technology

If you think back ten years ago to 2006, how much did you know about technology? Did you have a computer in your own home? If so, did you use that computer nearly as much as you do now? Chances are you depend more on the internet now more than ever before for various aspects of your daily life. Access to online bill paying, virtual GPS systems for directions, and even the real estate market are prime examples of the readily available features provided by the internet. There is one aspect of our daily lives, however, that has not fully taken the online switch over to the virtual side. That aspect would be the automotive retail industry.

In 2009, only a mere 4% of all automotive retail sales were held online and increased to roughly 15% in 2013. Compare these numbers to the 50% of online visibility that is held by industries such as publishing and entertainment, as told by Forbes.com. Because of this minor increase, there has already been a decline in the number of visits a consumer makes to the dealership before buying a car from 4 visits to an average of 1.4 visits.

Does this come as a surprise that in this short of a time period that an online presence can make this much of a difference? Consider everything that is readily available to the public on marketplaces like Amazon, as pointed out by AutoRemarketing.com. There are hundreds of thousands of products for low prices listed for the immediate purchase by consumers. This not only saves money, but time as well from driving to and from the store to waiting in line and taking the chance that the item you are looking for may not be in stock. This is no different than the pros and cons of the automotive retail industry. On-demand automotive retail platforms, such as ShowroomXpress, are merging the automotive industry with the new advancements in technology. ShowroomXpress showcases car inventory from dealerships to consumers through an online presence available at home and interactive kiosks present at dealerships and is being released to the public in the upcoming year. Much like ShowroomXpress, MyDealerOnline has a similar vision of how the automotive industry can be taken into a new era.


MyDealerOnline saw the opportunity of an online automotive presence and full heartedly took an initiative. By setting up an online platform, auctioneers and dealers can showcase their used car inventory that they have available on and off their lot. Consumers can conveniently see inventory in the comfort of their own home before taking the trip out to the dealership to ensure a successful transaction and long-term satisfaction. With so much of society being dictated online, it seems impossible that there hasn’t be a service offered like this before. Learn more about how we can assist you in the car buying process at MyDealerOnline.

Winter Storm Jonas Hit the East Coast Hard. Here’s How to Prevent your Dealership from Taking a Hit in Harsh Winter Weather Conditions.

With as warm and unpredictable as this winter season has been, it was an exciting change of pace when Winter Storm Jonas hit the east coast. The biggest downside to having a winter wonderland, however, has everything to do with our automobiles. Clearing out mountains of snow on driveways, salting sidewalks and streets to prevent slippery conditions, and increased risks while driving are just a few setbacks that result from these anticipated snow days. With all of the stress winter weather conditions put on your vehicle, think about the impact these conditions can have when trying to sell cars in the middle of a blizzard.

If you are snowed in, chances are that car dealerships are snowed in right there with you. As soon as the snow stops, it's common practice to shovel and remove the snow from on snowed intop and around your car. Imagine having to clean off hundreds of cars and having an entire lot to clear, not just a driveway. Winter conditions hit dealerships the hardest in regards to getting back to business after a storm. Rough winter weather conditions not only put pressure on the employees of the business, but also defers consumers from making the trek out to visit one or even multiple dealerships to go car shopping. Is there a plausible way to minimize the impact of extreme winter weather scenarios on business productivity, particularly in auto sales? 

Well, one way is to have inventory readily available on your website for consumers to browse. If you think about it, snow days may even make for the best car shopping days because consumers can sit on their laptops or mobiles and browse through vehicles all day at just the click of a button. In fact, AutoRemarketing.com reported that Winter Storm Jonas had little to no effect on the buying and selling of used cars, stating that sales were up by 2% when compared to the previous year. This can be attributed to the trend of online inventory being readily available to customers from dealerships. Not only does it broaden the inventory, but also creates ease for winter conditions as well. The fewer cars on the lot, the less working capital you have to provide to maintain those vehicles. Why not increase your inventory off the lot by adding thousands of readily available auction cars to your website?  
MyDealerOnline can bring these inventory considerations and much more to your dealership. Click here to find out how you can increase your online inventory to get you through the rest of this climate-confused winter season.

General Motors Succeeds in Tackling All Aspects of the Upcoming Automotive Industry, Even Millennials

News is going viral that within the next month General Motors will release an online platform to market and sell their used-car inventory. You may not think this is the first of it’s kind, but they have further released news about the additional features that will be offered to customers. AutoRemarketing states that some of those features include bumper-to-bumper warranties, flexible exchange programs, and bonus features added to the car itself such as an OnStar Guidance Plan, roadside assistance and satellite radio packages. General Motors also issued car history reports readily available to customers and a vast amount of information varying from numerous pictures of the car to how quickly the car can be available for delivery. This program has acquired highly acclaimed reviews by associates at Kelley Blue Book and is gaining interest by the day.

used cars

In addition, General Motors is releasing a car-sharing service to different demographics throughout the nation. This will enable a customer to acquire personal mobility at their convenience on their smart phone, just like Uber or Lyft, but without the additional service of a driver. The service will not be recognized as General Motors. Rather, it will be defined under a new identity brand named Maven. As mentioned by AutoRemarketing, this is a new start up in the industry and there are countless competing ideas and services being brought to the public each and every day. With this being said, take into consideration how millennials are approaching the automotive industry as it comes time for them to get behind the wheel.

It is becoming more prevalent that there are major differences among baby boomers and millennials on their views about common life occurrences. Take Harley Davidson, for example. Harley Davidson Motorcycles are struggling to remarket to millennials because their current target, which is baby boomers, has defined their brand as a desired, edgy lifestyle. This fad did not catch on as easily as it once did and is drastically declining revenue. Another lifestyle difference between baby boomers and millennials is the first car buying experience. Millennials are not seeing this occurrence of buying your first car as something to symbolize their freedom or holding enough importance to strike-up a conversation about. Rather, this experience is     us online.jpgbecoming passing small talk as told by AutoRemarketing.With this being said, millennials will steer more towards General Motors’ upcoming programs because they coincide with millennials’ needs of postponing the initial “first car experience” with car-sharing and dimming the excitement with used-car buying online. With millennials being targeted by mass media now more than ever before, should more companies start looking with the same social approach as General Motors? Have you ever considered the online aspect of your company? MyDealerOnline may have you covered.

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