During the recent Digital Dealer conference in Las Vegas, CBT News anchor Jim Fitzpatrick connected with Noah Lee, the Director of Product Consulting for Dealer.com, Cox Automotive. Together with Jade Terreberry, Lee gave a talk at the conference aptly named “Turning Data into Dollars” where they addressed the transformative power of data in the car business.
On the CBT stage, Lee and Fitzpatrick discussed the ongoing financial hurdles in the market, such as surging inflation, increased interest rates, and high gas costs. These challenges have shifted how consumers are approaching car purchases. Yet, Lee emphasized that, despite these changes, there are ample opportunities for dealerships willing to adapt and highlight their unique value.
1. In response to the current economic conditions, consumers are doing a bit of belt tightening. Considering the inventory challenges with new cars and high interest rates, these customers are having a more difficult time finding a car that suits their needs. Likewise, used vehicles are more expensive for consumers and the gap between affordability for new and used cars has shrunk. On the leasing side, there has been a big drop in OEM incentives.
2. To combat these challenges, Lee says dealers must utilize their first-party data (this is information your company has collected directly from your audience, whether from in-person interactions, site visits, or social media followers.) This is some of the highest quality data dealers can gather. Using this data, dealers can provide personalized experiences across the car buying journey.
3. This data is also vital to digital retailing, especially in terms payment and financing information. Dealers who eliminate the pain points from online to in-store shopping, will do very well despite the economic climate.
Having a good idea of where [customers] are in the car buying journey, what kind of vehicle they are interested in, and what their budget is, allows you as a dealership and as a salesperson, to provide them with a tailored experience, top-to-bottom." — Noah Lee