Almost two-thirds (59%) of potential car buyers are more likely to remain in contact with a dealer that emails them with details of stock that matches their initial enquiry, according to a new study by Marketing Delivery.
The survey questioned car owners across the UK about their preferences relating to contact with local dealers. It highlighted that 18- to 30-year-olds were most likely (65%) to stay in touch with dealers who contacted them about their search. Location also seems to be a factor too, with those in London being more likely (73%) to re-engage with their dealer as a result of an email about relevant stock, compared to half (49%) of those living in the East Midlands.
The same study also found that 33% are now seriously considering purchasing a car due to increased disposable income as a result of the pandemic. Again, this figure was highest among Londoners, with 54% saying they were giving the purchase of a car more consideration now than previously.
“This research highlights the value of taking proactive steps to keep potential customers within the sales funnel,” said Marketing Delivery managing director Jeremy Evans.
“It can be a challenge to keep on top of daily stock churn and send personalised updates to hundreds of prospects, especially if a business has been impacted by reduced headcount. Our programmatic digital tools now simplify this large-scale yet personalised digital communication process,” he added.
The research also revealed that customers expect a faster response to enquiries now that they can’t visit the dealership in person, posing a problem for dealers who are coping with fewer staff coupled with increased demand.
“Our automated Car Alerts system takes much of the human involvement out of the matching process, emailing potential customers to make them aware of vehicles meeting their search criteria,” said Evans.
Marketing Delivery’s Car Alert system provides a ready-made solution to the problem of leads that are often logged by sales staff as ‘lost’, even though in truth are still in the market for a car.
Following the initial enquiry, the dealer will input customer details and vehicle preference into the system. When a vehicle comes into stock that matches their requirements, the system will automatically send an email, making the customer aware. And in case it was the price that didn’t convert them on the first visit, the Car Alert system can also tell customers about changes in price on existing stock.
The system also notifies the dealer immediately when a customer views an advert or clicks on an email from the system. That enables the dealer to proactively approach the customer and keep them engaged throughout their search for the right vehicle. With a conversion rate of 10% to prospects who couldn’t find the right vehicle at the right price initially, Car Alerts is a proven sales success.
Recent research from Ebay Motors Group highlighted the importance of personalised, detailed and accurate email correspondence with buyers during lockdown.
Since the first lockdown in March 2020, eBay Motors Group said it has seen a consistent pattern in buyer behaviour whenever government restrictions require dealer showrooms to close, with email enquiries overtaking call enquiries.
In line with this trend, the research reveals the increased importance of informative and professionally written responses when liaising with consumers.