With 2020 now in our rearview mirror, auto dealers are reflecting on the challenges caused by the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as the changes they can make to have a successful year in 2021. To discuss this further, we’re pleased to welcome back Kevin LeSage, Director of Digital Marketing of Autotrader.
Despite the hardships that the industry endured, LeSage reminds us that auto dealers saw a tremendous amount of growth in the last 10 or so months. Many dealers adapted to a new digital rhythm that allowed them to serve customers in new and innovative ways. Overall, there was a lot of profitability to be shared due to pent-up consumer demand. In fact, many dealer partners saw record month after record month. While those numbers have since plateaued, dealers are still reporting high levels of website traffic and online engagement, although the quality of leads has subsided.
Dealer sentiment in Q4 also declined with rising numbers of COVID-19 cases. These market conditions were less than perfect compared to what dealers saw in the Summer months. However, dealers are resilient and continue to adapt especially with inventory numbers slowly leveling out. Dealers now need to make sure that that the most desirable vehicles are front and center for shoppers.
LeSage explains, “In my 10 years in this industry, the number one foundational conversation comes down to finding a match for my inventory to the next buyer. And being able to correctly advertise the right vehicle to that customers and identify where in market that customer is.”
That’s why Cox Automotive has released a free reporting tool for their dealer clients called Audience Explorer. This tool accurately predicts what shoppers are in your region, are in market, and for what make and model. The algorithm behind the tool matches dealer inventory to customers 85% percent of the time. Utilizing this connected strategy is a huge asset to dealers. To find out more, watch our entire interview above and visit Autotrader.com.
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