2019 was a strong year for used car dealers in the US. The market was just ahead of 2018, with approximately a third (36.9%) of dealers reporting improvement year over year, and a smaller proportion (32.2%) finding conditions tougher. But if you polled a room of franchise and independent dealers how their year went, you’ll get a mixed response. 46% of franchise dealers reported improvements in their market over 2018, but only 32% of independent dealers agreed.
Built around a survey of nearly 1,000 independent and franchise car dealers and our annual Dealer Council meeting, the inaugural CarGurus One Voice Report examines topics set to be key to retailer performance in 2020.
At CarGurus, we’re working hard to give our dealers better tools to solve the challenge of attribution. We recently launched an update to our Dealer Dashboard that should make it easier for dealers to see which CarGurus leads bought a vehicle.
Lead details added to Removed Listing Activity section
The Removed Listing Activity section isn’t so much new as it is improved. It lets dealers see their recently sold/removed listings, along with a breakdown of all the CarGurus leads and connections for those vehicles. What’s new is that we’ve added the details of those leads so it’s easier for dealers to tie a specific lead to the sale of a particular vehicle.
With so many different touchpoints along a car buyer’s path to purchase—more than 24, according to Google—it can be difficult for dealers to make sense of which are most influential throughout a consumer’s buying journey. Attribution is one of the biggest challenges dealers face today—and it’s something that we at CarGurus are continually looking to provide a solution to for our dealers. And, today we’re turning a corner.
CarGurus is thrilled to announce that we have teamed up with vAuto, Clarivoy, and Vistadash, three game-changing analytics platforms, to help dealers learn more about their inventory performance. Through these partnerships, we will be able to provide more data than ever to our dealers, increasing transparency and giving dealers a more holistic view of their online listing performance including VDP views, map clicks, and more.
Your data is your most important sales resource
Closing a sale at your dealership is led by knowing your buyer, from preferences to budget, and more. Having those same data points for online shoppers is key to driving leads to your dealership.
Getting to know a potential car buyer in your dealership is easy. Talking, asking, listening, advising—it’s the car salesperson’s mantra.
Getting to know your online shoppers, though, can be an entirely different proposition.
- You can’t really talk to them one-on-one
- You can only ask limited questions
- Listening and advising isn’t as dynamic as a face-to-face conversation in a dealership
This may appear to paint a bleak picture for online lead generation and conversion, but it overlooks a simple yet powerful tool that also happens to be free of charge: Google Analytics.
Most marketers will tell you that last-touch attribution—the most common way to measure marketing effectiveness—isn’t perfect. There are many steps along the customer journey, and shoppers can interact with your brand, content, and marketing materials dozens of times before making a purchase. But last touch gets used anyway, because it’s better than nothing and much easier to implement than more nuanced models.
In his post Inspect CarGurus Referral Traffic in GA, Brian Pasch at PCG Companies lays out the case for why a more comprehensive view of lead attribution is important, and uses CarGurus as his example.
We recently posted about this blog’s switch to SSL. The only difference you’ll notice is the “https” in your browser address bar, but SSL promises greater security, more confident users, and higher search rankings.
There’s one additional benefit to SSL that we thought deserved its own blog post: better analytics.