Posts Tagged Market Research
Posted by Ralph Paglia in Advertising, Automotive Digital Marketing, Automotive Management, Automotive Marketing, Automotive Product, Automotive Retail Management, Automotive Sales, Automotive Suppliers, Automotive Websites, Best Practices, Car Dealers, Data Analysis, Dealer Management System, Dealer Website, Internet Sales Manager, Inventory Photos, Marketing Data, Marketing Metrics, Marketing Research, Mobile Marketing, Vehicle Merchandising, Website Lead Forms on February 6, 2013
ADM Forum Question Posted by Kim Essenmacher
I have to ask this question because each seminar, webinar and research study that I have read is stating this to be the case. It increases VDP’s, time on the site and in turn increases sales. Here is a study from KBB:
Shoppers Want Actual New Vehicle Photos, Not Stock Photography on Dealer Web Sites
According to a new study conducted by Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research among in-market car buyers, 90 percent of vehicle shoppers would prefer to view actual photos of new vehicles currently on the dealer’s lot than view stock photography of a vehicle they are interested in buying.
When it comes to purchasing a used vehicle, viewing photos of the exact vehicle, its options, condition and mileage help a potential buyer make a purchase decision. But, when it comes to buying a new vehicle, in-market shoppers say they want to have that same luxury; seeing photos of the exact vehicle on a dealer’s lot before driving to the dealership. Today, most dealerships use stock photography of new vehicles provided by the manufacturer to showcase current model-year vehicles.
Recent market research shows nearly 70 percent of today’s new vehicle shoppers are turning to the Internet for new vehicle research. Nearly half of these shoppers visit at least one dealership Web site during the research process, making the information found on the dealer’s Web site crucial in garnering a new customer. In fact, 74 percent of vehicle shoppers say they are more likely to visit a dealership if they are able to view a picture of an actual vehicle currently available on the lot, rather than stock photography. What’s more, 53 percent would be more likely to buy that particular vehicle from a dealership offering actual photos of in-stock vehicles.
CDMdata Inc., a Kelley Blue Book Company, offers products and services that aid dealers in easily marketing both their new and used vehicles online with photos. CDMdata’s DigitalLot® Solution is a device that collects vehicle information by scanning the VIN, takes multiple photos of the actual vehicle and then uploads all of the information to the dealer’s Web site (and up to 150 retail Web sites) with the simple push of a button. The DigitalLot Solution can take up to 32 photos of each vehicle, and the in-depth VIN explosion allows consumers to instantly and accurately view all of the detailed information about their prospective new or used vehicle. For dealers who prefer to have someone else doing the book-in work, CDM Dealer Services provides a company representative to come to the dealer’s lot to upload the information and photography for them.
“The online automotive shopping and buying process must continue to evolve, and the DigitalLot Solution is a critical tool to help dealers improve their relationships and build more trust with online shoppers,” said Mike Romano, chief operating officer for CDMdata, Inc. and vice president of dealer strategy for Kelley Blue Book. “Whether using the solution for new or used vehicles, the DigitalLot quickly and easily automates the process of uploading dealers’ online inventory, allowing them to ultimately sell more cars faster.”
About Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com)
Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com is America’s most used and trusted vehicle pricing, values and information resource. The top-rated Web site provides the most up-to-date pricing and values for thousands of new and used vehicles, including the New Car Blue Book® Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. Since 1926, car buyers and sellers have relied upon Kelley Blue Book for authoritative and unbiased information to make well-informed automotive decisions. The company also reports vehicle prices and values via products and services, including the famous Blue Book® Official Guide and software products. Kbb.com has been rated the No. 1 automotive information site by Nielsen//NetRatings and the most visited auto site by J.D. Power and Associates eight years in a row. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than kbb.com; nearly one in every three American car buyers perform their research on kbb.com.
SOURCE: Kelley Blue Book
CONTACT: Robyn Eckard, +1-949-268-3049, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Joanna
McNally, +1-949-268-3079, email@example.com, both of Kelley Blue Book
Web site: http://www.kbb.com/
However, the largest dealer group in our state doesn’t use custom photos. My GM is afraid that if customers see new car photos that the customer won’t think that they can custom order a vehicle and we will lose sales!
I told my GM if he is worried about losing custom photos, we could put in the comments “Call if you don’t see what you are looking for?”
Also, how do we know that new car photos wouldn’t help increase the largest dealer group’s sales?
I am still trying to figure out which is the best way to go?
Any thoughts and additional research is appreciated.
this is a similar question to “should we put our inventory online”, which was quite the debate up until about ten years ago… There is no question about the effectiveness of actual vehicle photos versus stock images. all the research shows anywhere from double to 4 times the lead volume on inventory with photos versus stock images when half the inventory has one and the other half is the other.
Honestly, this is one of those irritating issues that is a qualified for me on whether or not I want to work with a dealer or group… If they have not yet progressed to the point where the acknowledge that actual vehicle photos work better than stock catalog images, then they probably haven’t switched to broadband from dial-up yet.
Now, with that said there are alwys the economic considerations… let me explain. If you sell a brand of new vehicles where demand dramatically outstrips supply and your biggest problem is how much to mark up new vehicles above MSRP, then do not bother incurring the expense of taking inventory photos. heck, for that matter, save electricity and don’t turn on the lot lights at night!
I have done the “actual vehicle photos” comparison at several stores. This is where we run a 3 month test by taking actual photos of all new vehicels that have a stock number ending in an even digit and do not take photos for new vehicles with stock numbers that end in odd digits. Having done this “test” at at least 6 dealerships over time, rarely do we get to the end because the cars with actual photos get all the leads and phone calls. Then, when people start showing up on the showroom with the VDP printed out and in their hands, the whole thing turns into a big joke… Sort of “No shit Sherlock” actuial photos work better than catalog images… Again, the only debate os about the expense and the work flow.
Actual photos of new vehicles make almost as big a difference in lead volume as they do for used cars… Ever try advertising used cars with stock photos? It rates a Twitter “EpicFail hash tag.
Real photos generate more leads than catalog images. Can you tell which one of the following images is real… and which one is Memorex?
The new 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LT Black Diamond and 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche LT Black Diamond inventory images above are from the same dealership and for two different vehicles of exact same model and trim… Also, consider that “Real videos” generate more leads than “Real Photos” alone… Real Photos generate more leads than “Stock Images”… get the drift?
However, before incurring the expense of implementing real photos of new vehcile inventory, there is a genuinely valid question that should be sincerely and realistically answered first: “Does your sales department effectively convert leads into showroom visits and sales?” Because, if the dealership is deficient in handling customer inquiries, and does a poor job of converting leads into sales, and/or does a poor job of converting traffic to the showroom into sales… Then don’t waste time and money on inventory photos. You have more serious problems to deal with.
The automotive marketing research firm Dataium has released their 2013 Automotive Shopper Intensity Report which has become a respected and widely regarded accurate predictor of new vehicle demand in North America.
Each of the charts shown below are posted in the form of a PNG image that I created from the PDF version of the report. You can click on to open a browser window showing the full resolution for viewing and download. I have also included the PDF version of this report excerpt for file download by ADM Professional Community Members at the bottom… The following text, charts and tables are excerpts from the full report, which is available from Dataium for a fee by request. To request complete access to Dataium’s ASI predictive modeling tool on future consumer demand by make, model, trim level, segment, region, and market, contact Dataium at www.dataium.com/contact, or call 877-896-DATA (3282).
January 2013 Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Report
The Dataium Automotive Shopper Intensity Index (ASI) is a leading indicator of Automotive Retail Sales. We show that Automotive Retail Sales closely mirror the fluctuations of the ASI. This index serves as an early predictor of the next 30 – 45 days of automotive retail sales.
The index was relatively flat in December, up by a mere 0.39%, indicating a slowdown in January. Based on this, Dataium forecasts the US Retail SAAR in January to be 12.2 million retail units.
Eric Brown, CEO of Dataium noted;
With regards to makes, Toyota continues to outperform both the domestic and import brands alike, with three models: the Camry, Tacoma and Tundra included in the top ten new vehicle ranking for three straight months. However, overall intensity around the brand has gradually declined, with each model dropping a spot or two in the ASI ranking since November.
For a second straight month, shopping intensity for mid-size sedans remained high, with three models within the segment ranking highest in ASI for new vehicles. The report identifies intensifying interest for the Honda Accord, which rose from 9th place in December, to rank highest in new vehicle ASI this month. However, the Accord faces strong competition in the New Year from the Hyundai Sonata, which, for the second month in a row, exhibited one of the largest month over month increases in its segment, and ranked second in ASI for new vehicles.
A notable entry to the top ten ASI new vehicle ranking was the popular compact sedan from Hyundai, the Elantra. For the past two months, the Elantra has outperformed much of the competition in the compact segment in terms of shopping intensity. The ASI report also indicates that despite a slight bump in shopper interest owing to a recent redesign, the Nissan Sentra still trails other compacts within the segment.
Download the PDF version of this Dataium report extract by right-clicking on the following link, then selecting “Save As”:
- Dataium ASI Forecasts Slowdown of Auto Shopping in New Year (prweb.com)
- Where everybody knows your name? (swebman.com)
- How do you hire Automotive Professionals? (autoindustryprofessionals.com)
- Digital Dealer Compliance – Automotive Marketing Professionals (admprofessionalcommunity.com)
2012 New Autoshopper Study Shows Continued Evolution of Car Buyers Using Web Access Devices
J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Although the Majority of Automotive Buyers Continue to Use Personal Computers to Shop for New Vehicles, Tablets and Smartphones Are Used by One in Five Digital Auto Buyers
Nearly 60 Percent of Buyers Narrow Their Decision to One Model during the Final Week before Buying
October 2012 –Influenced by the phenomenal growth of mobile devices to access the Internet, tablets and smartphones are being used by one in five new-vehicle buyers who use the Internet in the automotive shopping process, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 New Autoshopper StudySM released today.
The study analyzes how new-vehicle buyers use digital devices (computers, smartphones and tablets) and which websites and apps are used to gather information prior to purchase. Overall, 79 percent of new-vehicle buyers use the Internet (also referred to as Automotive Internet Users, or AIUs) to research their vehicle purchase.
While nearly all (99%) AIUs use a desktop/laptop computer at some point in their shopping process, nearly 30 percent use multiple devices, including desktops, smartphones and/or tablets. The study finds that 20 percent of AIUs use a smartphone to gather information while shopping for a new vehicle, and 18 percent use a tablet.
“Access to new-vehicle information through the Internet and apps–obtained via personal computers, smartphones and tablets–is having a greater impact on many aspects of the purchase decision than ever before,” said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media and marketing solutions at J.D. Power and Associates. “It is important for brands and websites to provide consistency across their sites and apps, no matter what device is being used to access the information. The shopping experience should be equally usable and the shopping information equally complete, no matter the device.”
The majority of shopping among AIUs still occurs at home. However, tablets are not as mobile as they may seem. Most AIUs who use a tablet for shopping do so at home, while those who use a smartphone are more likely than tablet users to do so outside of the home, as smartphones are always within reach.
Among AIUs who use a smartphone, 59 percent do so at the dealership, accessing vehicle pricing, model and inventory information, as well as comparing vehicles.
“This interplay between the dealership experience and digital information has become more intertwined with the availability of shopping content on mobile devices,” said Walker. “Now that buyers can easily access information right from their pockets, it is essential that the dealer body is as well versed as the shoppers in order to provide consistent information both online and in the dealership.”
The study finds that buyers go online nearly as soon as they decide to buy a new vehicle, and 59 percent of AIUs narrow their consideration list to one model during the final week before the actual purchase. With such a high volume of buyers deciding on the model of purchase so close to the actual time of the sale, the digital experience and dealer interaction are more important than ever.
The vast majority (98%) of AIUs visit manufacturer websites during their shopping process, followed by third-party websites (81%); dealer websites (73%); and social media sites (5%). AIUs rely heavily on manufacturer websites for researching specific models and utilizing build tools, while they more frequently rely on third-party sites for comparing vehicles; reading vehicle ratings and reviews; and learning about vehicle trade-in values. AIUs use dealer sites primarily for inventory and dealer-specific information, such as directions/location, hours and contact information.
“With such a wide range of information available digitally, it’s important for OEMs to partner with automotive sites, not only to drive traffic to the brand and dealer sites, but also to offer consistency in the information and tools shoppers rely on,” said Walker. “Manufacturers and automotive third-party sites need to think about synchronization across their properties in order to help provide consistency throughout the automotive shopping experience for their target audience.”
Digital automotive research continues to have the most impact on brand and model selection, followed by price, which is relatively unchanged from four years ago. As a result of having product information accessible through websites and apps, new-vehicle buyers have more tools to help define their consideration set.
Although mobile apps are still used by a minority of AIUs, the same shopping tools are being used across the two types of digital properties, albeit at different rates.
The 2012 New Autoshopper Study is based on responses from 12,289 purchasers and lessees of 2010 to 2012 model-year new vehicles who used information gathered digitally in the shopping process.
About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually.
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About The McGraw-Hill Companies
McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial’s leading brands include Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.
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