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5 Things You Need to Know About Online Car Buyers

5 Things You Need to Know About Online Car Buyers

Don’t Forget the Honey Pot

When it comes to the world of sales, it’s important not to be too short-sighted. Based on the recent data from more than 10,000 prospective customers, just 25% of people who inquire online will complete a purchase within the first thirty (30) to sixty (60) days. 

The “honey pot” is related to the 65% of customers who declare themselves to be still interested after sixty days, but won’t be likely to complete a purchase until between three and six months after their initial inquiry. It’s important not to forget about those customers that are still in your sales funnel after sixty days because they are likely to have already spoken to multiple brands or dealers over this period of time, making them more susceptible to be lost to the competition. 

Routinely prompting your honey pot–without pressuring them–could be a great way to increase your conversion over time. Make it your standard operating practice.

Focus on Quarterly Conversion, not monthly

A common practice among automotive sales and marketing practitioners is to focus on their month-by-month conversions. Based on the data presented in point 1 above, this type of tracking can often result in some pretty significant spikes and troughs. Instead, consider your overall quarterly conversion rates because as the number of prospects in your stockpile increases, so should your quarterly sales figures.

Remember to also plot your conversion rates against the customer’s original month of inquiry. This way, you can compare the results against your original method of lead-generation to constantly evaluate your customer on boarding strategies. 

Play by this rule book and you should see results similar to the ones displayed below, which have been driven directly from one of our dealership partners. Current quarter results should also be looking to catch up and exceed the previous quarter, but this is entirely dependent on how you nurture the leads in your honey pot.

First Impressions Online Matter

Over the last three (3) months, 24% of customers that we spoke to over the phone claimed that the first impression of customer service was the most critical factor in their decision to buy or not.

The perceived value of being connected with a sales agent, who demonstrates a high standard of both online and offline customer service, was considered more important than the vehicle’s perceived value for money and the perceived features of a vehicle.

Being connected to a sales agent who demonstrates a high standard customer service (online and offline) was considered more important than the vehicle’s perceived value for money and features of a vehicle.

Average Customer will inquire with 2 to 3 brands

The competition is tight. Much in the same way that meeting a customer at a mall is not a guaranteed sale, neither is an online lead.  A lead is an opportunity, but not a guaranteed sale – and you might be sharing this customer with two or three other brands. Are you doing enough to sell your product, your dealer, and ultimately, yourself?

Online Customers want convenience

A customer inquiring online is transitioning more stages of the car-buying process in one go than those using any other medium. The reason that customer come online and use a service like AutoDeal is ultimately for convenience and time-saving. 

From the outset, a customer will transcend from interest to action, and then on to negotiation with a sales agent before they even first step foot in a showroom. If an agent is responding to a customer by telling them to call, then they’re ultimately missing the point of why customers go online – and should be considered for removal from your online customer service team.

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