CarWoo!, the leading online marketplace for automotive buyers and dealers, today announced that Volkswagen of Downtown LA is closing 25 percent of its CarWoo! online introductions due to better engagement with the online automotive buyer.
Volkswagen of Downtown LA is part of Downtown LA Motors, one of the top five dealerships in the country. It resides in the heart of Southern California, in a dense and highly competitive car market with 23 other Volkswagen dealerships within a 50-mile radius. As one of the larger Volkswagen dealers in this market, it currently delivers approximately 250 units per month, 90 of which are sold through the Internet department.
Challenged by such a competitive market in 2012, Volkswagen of Downtown LA was looking for ways to capture more of the market share of online customers.
As part of its plan to aggressively conquest Internet buyers, the dealership brought veteran Internet Sales Director Dave Erickson on board. Erickson had successfully used CarWoo! at a competing dealership and it was one of the first programs he implemented at Volkswagen of Downtown LA.
CarWoo! offers consumers a venue in which they can engage with dealers while keeping their contact information private. In the CarWoo! MarketPlace consumers can select the type of car they are interested in, find and communicate with local dealers, receive upfront prices, compare offers and ultimately make a confident, hassle-free purchase decision. Their contact information is only provided to the dealership when they choose to release it.
“Today’s Internet shopper has shopped online for years and experienced endless email campaigns from dealers; or calls every week from a BDC department, sometimes months after submitting their contact information through a lead form,” said Erickson. These shoppers are buying their 2nd, 3rd or 4th car through the Internet department. They understand the game and do not want to be aggressively pursued by multiple dealers. CarWoo! is an appealing option for them: They get an honest quote, answers to questions and the ability to explore options without having the full force of multiple dealerships following up. I’d rather have the extra intelligence and platform like CarWoo! over a fake email and Google voice number.” Erickson added.
CarWoo! delivers connections to buyers in Volkswagen of Downtown LA’s primary market area. Erickson particularly likes that he can choose which customers he wishes to interact with. Unlike third-party lead providers, consumers who choose CarWoo! are typically further down the buying funnel.
More than providing the typical basic information, CarWoo! delivers valuable competitive and consumer insights. The data includes a timeframe for when the customer plans on acquiring their vehicle; whether they plan to purchase or lease; how they plan to finance; and if they have a trade. Dealers are also given competitive insights to help them understand their market better while prioritizing their buyer communications.
“The insights are unique. No other lead provider we have provides the real time frame the buyer is thinking of purchasing, why they want to purchase and how they want to purchase. It really helps us to create a customized response to the customer beyond that of just providing a price quote,” said Erickson. “We’re able to look at the location of the potential customer to make assessments and modifications based on other offers and the shopper’s interaction with other dealers,” Erickson added.
Volkswagen of Downtown LA currently uses 5 lead providers including CarWoo! “Because CarWoo! is such and affordable program, our goal was really simple,” Erickson stated. “We really went into it with the idea of picking up a few more sales per month at a low cost.”
The dealership receives approximately 25 CarWoo! introductions per month for online car buyers within a 25-mile radius. It closes 25 percent of these introductions and picks up an extra 6 sales per month. The average cost per customer acquisition being around $112 per sale. “We don’t usually place an offer to a consumer outside of our primary area of influence unless the car is unique. We pick up 6 sales per month from CarWoo! There are likely also deals that have been saved because of CarWoo!; but it’s difficult to put a number on that. Occasionally I have noticed an older ‘unresponsive’ lead from a different lead source is now a CarWoo! contact that I’m engaged with,” Erickson stated.
“At the end of the month, if we need a few extra deals, CarWoo! is a great place to get them. I can modify offers or go beyond the radius of where we normally place them. CarWoo! has been a great partner. If for some reason our team is slow in responding, they’ll even reach out and let me know so we don’t have any opportunities slip through the cracks,” Erickson added
CarWoo! is dedicated to providing the best online marketplace for automotive buyers and sellers. In the CarWoo! MarketPlace consumers can select the type of car they are interested in, find and communicate privately with local dealers from CarWoo!’s more than 10,000 dealers, receive upfront prices, compare offers and ultimately make a confident, hassle-free purchase decision.
Dealers have the opportunity to receive never before available competitive intelligence and insight into the behavior of the online buyer. CarWoo! is the official “Best Deal” partner with AOL Autos and has active relationships with a variety of online sites. More than 13,000 car dealers and hundreds of thousands of consumers have engaged with each other in the CarWoo! MarketPlace