September 10, 2007 - 1:14 pm EST
The study ranks independent lead services in new-vehicle and used-vehicle segments.
Within those segments, five factors measure dealer satisfaction: business generation; dealer support and service; fees; transmission of leads and advertising.
AutoTrader.com ranks highest in dealer satisfaction among new-vehicle lead providers and used-vehicle lead providers. Within the new-vehicle segment, AutoTrader.com performs particularly well in transmission of leads and dealer support and service.
AutoTrader.com made its name during the dot-com boom as a consumer site for used-car shoppers. It added new vehicles in 2001.
Below AutoTrader.com in the segment rankings and performing above industry average are Dealix.com, AutoUSA.com and Cars.com, respectively.
Business generation is the most important driver of dealer satisfaction in both segments, accounting for about half of the overall score.
The study, called the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services Study, found that dealers typically respond to online leads with an e-mail or phone call within 48 minutes.
The study also shows that 46 percent of dealers say they respond to online leads in 30 minutes or less, while nearly three-fourths of dealers claim to respond in one hour or less.
J.D. Power says the study was based on 4,845 U.S. dealer evaluations of the online buying services they use. The study was conducted in May and June.
For full press release, go to: http://www.jdpower.com/corporate/news/releases/pressrelease.aspx?ID=2007165
You may e-mail Ralph Kisiel at email@example.com
PRESS RELEASE: J.D. Power and Associates Reports
AutoTrader.com Ranks Highest in Satisfying Dealers with Online Vehicle Buying Services for New- and Used-Vehicle Leads
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 10 September 2007 — AutoTrader.com ranks highest in satisfying dealers with online buying services for new- and used-vehicle leads, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2007 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services StudySM released today.
The study, which measures dealer satisfaction with online buying services, ranks vehicle lead services in two segments: independent new-vehicle and independent used-vehicle. Within those segments, five factors measure overall dealer satisfaction: business generation; dealer support/service; fees; transmission of leads; and advertising, which is not included in the independent new-vehicle lead service segment. The business generation factor is the most important driver of dealer satisfaction in both segments, accounting for approximately one-half of the overall index score. The study also examines dealer satisfaction with new-vehicle leads from auto manufacturer sites and member services such as Costco Auto Program and SAM’S CLUB Auto Buying Program.
AutoTrader.com ranks highest in dealer satisfaction with new-vehicle lead providers as well as used-vehicle lead providers. Within the new-vehicle segment, AutoTrader.com performs particularly well in dealer support/service and transmission of leads. Following AutoTrader.com in the segment rankings and performing above industry average are Dealix, AutoUSA and Cars.com, respectively.
In the used-vehicle segment, AutoTrader.com performs well in four of the five measures driving satisfaction: business generation, dealer support/service, transmission of leads and advertising. Cars.com follows AutoTrader.com in the independent used-vehicle segment rankings and performs particularly well in fees.
“As products and services offered by online lead service providers continue to evolve, so does dealer satisfaction with those services,” said Steve Witten, executive director of marketing/media research at J.D. Power and Associates. “However, with dealer satisfaction averaging 585 on a 1,000-point scale for the new-vehicle lead segment and 613 for the used-vehicle lead segment, there remains considerable room for improvement in delivering the level of service dealers expect. In particular, the quality of leads is of prime importance to dealers regarding new-vehicle leads, while quantity is emphasized for used-vehicle leads.”
The study finds that dealers typically respond to online leads with a personalized e-mail or phone call within 48 minutes. The study also reveals that 46 percent of dealers report they respond to online leads in 30 minutes or less, while nearly three-fourths of dealers claim to respond in one hour or less.
“Walk-in and call-in shoppers receive responses in a more timely manner at auto dealerships compared with online lead shoppers,” said Witten. “An opportunity exists for dealers to improve on the return on their investment in lead services by paying as much attention to online leads as they would to in-person or phone sales leads and by responding just as quickly.”
The study also finds that when responding to online price inquiries from shoppers, approximately 38 percent of dealers indicate that they provide a price quote in the first e-mail response, while 35 percent provide price information only after asking shoppers for more information. An additional 18 percent of dealers report that they invite shoppers to visit the dealership to discuss pricing.
“Most online leads include price inquiries, so the practice of withholding price information until after shoppers come into the dealership could conceivably deter them from buying at that dealership,” said Witten. “However, dealers who have a policy of postponing price discussions until shoppers come to the dealership report higher sales close rates, on average, than dealers who offer pricing information online before a visit to the dealer. While shoppers increasingly are contacting dealers via e-mail during the vehicle shopping and selection process, personal contact between the shopper and dealership is still very important.”
The 2007 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services Study is based on 4,845 dealer evaluations of the online buying services they use. The study was fielded from May to June 2007.