In the last two years, AutoDeal has serviced close to 100,000 car-buying inquiries to the Philippine automotive industry through close partnerships with more than three hundred (300) partner dealers.
Since setting out, additional resources and technology have been committed as a means to understand the influences affecting online car-buyers and to measure the financial impact that the AutoDeal platform has had on the overall industry. To date, more than two billion pesos worth of confirmed vehicle sales can be tracked back to an AutoDeal inquiry, quote request or test-drive booking. Pretty neat, huh?
more and more conclusive evidence is now suggesting that billions of pesos worth of car sales are now being won and lost online in the Philippines every year.
As the volume of sales data increases, more and more conclusive evidence is now suggesting that billions of pesos worth of car sales are now being won and lost online in the Philippines every year. While this is great news for those dealers winning big, the reason why many are failing to compete may come as a complete surprise to both the managers and owners of car dealerships nationwide.
The allocation of online marketing resources has risen sharply in the last few years as both manufacturers and dealers appreciate the requirement to be visible online. However the battle to win customers online is a slightly more complicated story which requires not only brand visibility, but competent brand engagement.
we highlighted that on average an online car shopper was likely to inquire with a minimum of two different brands.
In our first quarter 2016 industry insights report, we highlighted that on average an online car shopper was likely to inquire with a minimum of two different car brands ahead of making a real-world visit to a showroom. This means for every single sale made, another one or two dealers will let a prospective customer fall through their fingers (some without realizing they were interested).
So what makes some dealers more successful than others? We took a look at more than 2,000 successful customer journeys and evaluated reasons why customers decided to side with a specific brand or a specific dealer. Brace yourself, the results are probably not what you expected.
Fast Responders: In 44% of all purchases, customers sided with the dealer who provided the most prompt feedback to their inquiry. After all, you wouldn’t leave a customer waiting unattended for hours in your showroom would you? So why leave him waiting for a reply to a financing quote for three days?
Ignored: A further 26% sided with a specific dealer because the competing dealer who received their inquiry didn’t reply at all. That’s right, the declaration of interest in a vehicle was met with the faint croak of crickets. This was such a critical factor that we found in a number of cases that customers made a less obvious vehicle purchase simply because the other dealers gave no response to their inquiry. So let's brush aside the misconception that if they want to buy my product they'll inquire at my showroom mentality - online is your front line for getting people into your dealership.
Quality Response: In addition to this a further 15% chose the dealer who sent the most comprehensive and professional response to their inquiry. You’ve guessed it, those agents with the “yes po”, “no po” responses didn’t get the same conversion rate as those who gave detailed options to a customer and engaged in professional dialogue.
So what does this all suggest? How can underperforming dealers get a piece of the online sales pie?
Get in the conversation: If your dealership is not even part of the conversation, the likelihood of them being able to make a sale falls to pretty much zero. AutoDeal’s partner dealer programs start at P8,000 per month - probably less than what you pay the janitor.
Better Customer Tracking: If a customer inquires with your dealership three weeks ago and then visits the showroom today, how do you track his journey? Using AutoDeal’s Lead-Management System will give you a better understanding of where your customers originated from and what sales and marketing programs are yielding the most rewards.
Training & Appreciation of Online Inquiries: Online is set to be the most disruptive force in changing the automotive landscape. There’s never been a more relevant time to invest in grass roots training at the dealership level.