Tag Archive | "DMEa"

DMEautomotive: 1 in 6 Car Buyers Skips Test-Drive; Nearly Half Visit Just One (Or No) Dealership Prior to Purchase

Daytona Beach, Fla. – It may be the second most expensive purchase of most people’s lives, but new research from DMEautomotive (DMEa) reveals that a growing number of Americans are bypassing test-drives – and making strikingly few visits to dealerships – in their car-buying process.

The latest survey of roughly 2,000 automotive consumers found that, before purchasing, 16% took no test-drive and 33% test-drove only one car. And more than two-thirds (68%) reported that they visited only two dealerships or fewer before buying – with 40% visiting only one dealer.

The survey also measured consumer trust of dealer salespeople, and the results were sobering: only 21% claimed they perceive them as “trustworthy,” a lower trust rating than reported for lawyers, mortgage brokers and insurance salespeople.

“This avoidance of physical dealerships is in stark contrast with how much online vehicle research is happening: 4 in 5 people now use the Internet for car buying, visiting 10 auto Web sites in the process,” said Mary Sheridan, manager of research and analytics, DMEa. “More people are stealthily comparison-shopping dealerships and inventory online, and then swooping in to buy when their minds are already made up. Dealerships can no longer rely on in-store visits and the old ‘be-backs’ to drive sales: they need to have the most powerful online presence wherever dealer/vehicle selection is happening, and work far harder to keep customers close throughout the ownership cycle, using every retention marketing tool possible, like a constant-connection mobile app.”

Few Test Drives: The average new vehicle may cost a record $32K+2, but roughly half (49%) of buyers report only test-driving one (or no) vehicle before purchasing their latest vehicle. On average, car buyers test-drive only 1.9 cars pre-purchase, with just over a quarter (26%) test-driving 3 vehicles or more.

Even For Used Cars: Conventional wisdom is that used-car buyers at dealerships take significantly more test-drives (as each vehicle is unique), but the DMEa study reveals that is not the case: 30% of used buyers test-drove only one vehicle (vs. 35% of new buyers) – and a greater percentage of used buyers (18%) than new (14%) reported taking no test-drives.

Young More Likely to Test-Drive – Women to Avoid: Car buyers under 35, who may be more enthralled with the newness of the car-purchasing experience, are slightly more likely to take test-drives and try out more vehicles. For instance, 57% of those under 35 test-drove more than one vehicle (vs. 48% of those over 35) – and 33% test-drove more than three (vs. 23% of those over 35). But women, who influence 85% of all car purchases, were bigger test-drive avoiders: 19% skipped it altogether, vs. 12% of men.

Few Dealerships Visited Pre-Purchase: The survey found that 68% of car buyers visit two dealerships or less – and only 15% visit four or more – before buying. Overall, car buyers only visit 2.2 dealerships. So, this new DMEa data confirms recent industry research like that from McKinsey that found that car buyers visit 1.6 dealerships before buying – plummeting from 5 just a decade ago.

Used buyers make slightly more dealership visits (to search inventory) than new buyers: for instance, 38% of used buyers visit 3+ dealerships, vs. 28% of new. Overall, new buyers hit 2.1 dealerships on average, vs. 2.3 for used buyers.

Young Less Dealer-Averse; Women More Dealer-Averse: While all ages/genders report a low number of dealership visits, a bright spot for dealerships is that car buyers under 35 make slightly more visits than their older equivalents. Sixty-three percent of those under 35 visited two or more dealerships, vs. 53% of those over 35 – an indication that dealers should focus on delivering a modern retail experience, integrating the digital and mobile forms of shopping and purchase that millennials have come to expect.

Women, again, show more pronounced dealer avoidance: 46% of women visited zero or one dealerships to look at inventory, vs. 41% of men.

Car salesperson trust problem: Car buyers rated dealer salespeople on a “trust scale,” and a dealer image problem persists: a significant majority (56%) rated car salespeople untrustworthy – another 22% reported they “neither trusted/distrusted them” – and only 1 in 5 placed them in the trustworthy column.

Perhaps surprisingly, nearly twice as many car buyers under 35 trust dealer salespeople (30%) than those over 35 (17%). But again, dealerships have a notable “woman problem”: only 19% of women trust their salespeople, vs. 24% of men.

How Trust in Car Salespeople Stacks Up: The survey found that only 5% of consumers trust car salespeople more than doctors – 20% trust them more than lawyers – and 21% trust them more than either insurance salesmen or mortgage brokers. One small consolation: more people trust dealer salespeople than either politicians (57%) or telemarketers (59%).

Posted in Auto Industry NewsComments (0)

Fidelis PPM to Offer DMEautomotive’s Driver Connect to Dealer Clients

Daytona Beach, Fla. – Fidelis PPM, a provider of prepaid maintenance (PPM) solutions, selected DMEautomotive’s (DMEa) Driver Connect as its exclusive mobile app offering for its dealer clients. Fidelis PPM will be integrated into Driver Connect, allowing subscribing dealers to put its retention and revenue-driving power right into the palms of their customers’ hands.

“At our core, everything that Fidelis PPM does is about building and increasing dealership customer retention. That’s what made our integration of Driver Connect and our partnership with DMEa a natural fit. This represents the latest in the series of powerful tools that Fidelis PPM has put in place for our Dealers and F&I Administrators,” said Ryan Williams, executive vice president, Fidelis PPM.

DMEa research shows that engagement with, and usage of, prepaid maintenance plans drives future sales and service loyalty: 56% of consumers who have a prepaid or ‘complimentary’ service plan are likely to continue servicing at the dealership after expiration.

“By joining Driver Connect, which is popular with dealerships and consumers across the country, with Fidelis PPM, the leader in providing the most-requested dealer product in the country, Fidelis PPM dealers will have access to the most effective – and proven – mobile strategy available,” said Mike Martinez, chief marketing officer, DMEa. “Prepaid maintenance is one of the best retention tools a dealer has – but only if a customer uses it. This partnership will put all the info consumers need about their Fidelis PPM program, as well as the marketing messages to prompt them to use it, right on their mobile device. This should greatly increase frequency of use – and with it dealership loyalty.”

Mobile marketing is becoming a critical tool for dealerships with app usage a powerful driver. In 2015, more people will access the Internet from a mobile device than from a desktop computer, and DMEa research shows that 53% of consumers are likely to schedule a service appointment using their mobile device and 33% of consumers want to manage their maintenance schedule and records of their vehicle on a mobile device.

Driver Connect has helped lead the mobile next wave in the auto industry, having been adopted by some of the largest dealer groups across the nation. The DMEa app has won multiple awards, including the American Business Award and the 2013 BizTech Innovation Award.

Posted in P&A NewsComments (0)

DMEautomotive Introduces First Mobile Wallet Marketing Program for Auto Dealers

Daytona Beach, Fla. – DMEautomotive (DMEa) launched Mobile Rewards, a mobile marketing platform which allows dealerships to drive traffic to showrooms and service drives by leveraging the power of smartphone mobile wallets. The program enables dealer customers to receive special coupons and offers 24/7, organized into their smartphone mobile wallet for quick and easy access. And, because the program includes geo-fencing software, dealers can reach consumers with coupons or offers at a place and time when/where they can take action right away, whether near the dealership, at a marketing event like a tent sale, or even at a competitor’s location.

Mobile Rewards is the first of its kind product for the automotive industry and works in tandem with Driver Connect 2.5, DMEa’s dealer-branded, consumer-facing mobile app, or as a stand-alone mobile marketing platform.

“DMEa Mobile Rewards delivers a solution that consumers want and understand. With the use of smartphones soaring and the global mobile wallet market set to reach $5.2 trillion in 20201, the automotive industry needs to sit up and take notice that their customers are rapidly evolving into ‘mobile everywhere’ consumers,” said Mike Walther, president and CEO, DMEautomotive. “DMEa Mobile Rewards gives dealerships the ability to jump directly into mobile wallet marketing with minimal time, money or infrastructure investment.”

Mobile Rewards drives traffic directly into the showroom or service area by delivering digital coupons and rewards directly to an Apple or Android smartphone user. Unlike more traditional processes, such as mailing “punch cards” and printed coupons, Mobile Rewards lets dealers and service marketers deliver everything directly to the consumer’s smartphone mobile wallet – encouraging them to visit the showroom or service department in real time. In addition, dealers are able to comprehensively track and run reports on results in real time, giving them immediate access to data that tells which offers work best and how different segments are reacting to their marketing strategies.

One of the most compelling aspects of the app is its introduction of ‘geo-fencing’ mobile guerilla marketing tactics to the dealer showroom and service department. Mobile Rewards can be set to fire off alerts and reminders when a customer enters a certain geographical area – whether that’s within their own dealership or, perhaps more interestingly, when a customer enters a competitor’s location. “This opens up a completely new marketing opportunity by giving dealers a tool to reach out to customers while they are literally in the process of shopping for or servicing their vehicle,” said Walther.

“Consumer research2 shows that people are now spending twice as much time with smartphone apps as they are with mobile Web sites. As the usage of apps for everything from managing your finances to booking airline reservations continues to soar, smartphone users have new expectations in customer service, and apps like DMEa Mobile Rewards and Driver Connect are being embraced,” said Walther. “Dealers who recognize and act upon this new marketing channel are the ones that will capture the app-savvy consumer.”

Posted in P&A NewsComments (0)