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May 2017

Triangle_graphic_Cars.com

Third-Party Sites Fuel Dealership Growth

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Over the past 2 years, TRANSPARENCY has partnered with Cars.com and other aggregate publishers to help dealers better understand the value of the third-party automotive site audience. Our goal continues to be simple. We help our publisher partners and their dealer clients to answer the meaningful, relevant questions that will inform better decisions regarding their digital marketing  investments:

What is helping me sell more vehicles? What is helping me service more vehicles? What marketing investments are truly GROWING my business?

Clear insights that GM’s and owners have been asking for, for years!

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And as more and more consumers prefer to shop anonymously, gathering information across different devices, browsers  and multiple sessions, it’s imperative that dealers don’t make advertising decisions based solely on the small number of actual leads they can track via their CRM solutions.


Alex Vetter, CEO of Cars.com recently shared his view of the importance of making decisions with the right data, decisions that ultimately help the industry grow. “The game has changed,” said Vetter. “The marketplace is more crowded than ever and there’s no shortage of data available, but it’s important to pay attention to and measure the right data. The insights we’re learning about walk-in traffic and what’s truly driving sales is critical to succeeding in today’s environment.”

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We compiled a comprehensive analysis for all dealers that we’ve completed attribution studies within Q1 of 2017 for Cars.com. Through our proprietary process and methodology, we start with the dealer’s DMS transactional data (Sales and Service). We then match to the IP address of the consumers in the dealer’s market, anonymize their private information and then cross reference against the anonymous IP data supplied by Cars.com.

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Once we identify the matching sales and service transactions, we then look back 5 years in the dealer’s DMS data, to see if the customer has ever previously purchased or serviced with that dealer. If not, then we can determine they’re a true conquest customer.

After compiling and analyzing the data from over 150 dealerships across the country, the results might surprise you!

Overall  Influenced Audience

Cars.com influenced 60% of the average dealerships’ consumers (sales & service)1. Cars.com influenced an average of 63 sales per month per dealer (New & Used1 combined) 67.821  % of which were  1 first-time sales*1. That’s 43 sales per month per dealer that haven’t purchased or had serviced from/with the dealer previously in the last five (5) years.

Customers aren’t just shopping for used cars on Cars.com

In addition, we measured the impact of the Cars.com audience as a percentage of the dealer’s TOTAL business.

Service Insights

When it comes to service, Cars.com is helping to drive service business as well. Over 38% of the dealership’s total service customers engaged with Cars.com, with an average of over 440 RO’s per dealer/mth, delivering over $91,000 of profit/mth during  Q1. On average, 53 of those RO’s were true conquest service customers for the dealer – historically one of the hardest and most expensive type of conquest customers for a dealer to acquire.

To request a copy of the case study, or your own attribution report from Cars.com, simply CLICK HERE.

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TRANSPARENCY performed studies for dealers to help them understand the value of Cars.com’s audience and its impact on sales, service, and growth. In Q1 2017, TRANSPARENCY complied a comprehensive analysis from over 150 dealerships across the country and found:

CARS.COM Influences Sales

Overall, Cars.com had a significant influence on new (63%) and used (74%) car sales and influenced over 46% of TOTAL sales for the dealerships included in the study.

CARS.COM Attracts First-Time Sales

Cars.com influenced 63 sales per month, per dealer (new and used combined). Of the sales, 67.2% were first-time sales* – that’s 43 sales per month, per dealer from new customers that haven’t purchased or serviced with the dealer previously in the last five years.

CARS.COM Fuels Growth

Cars.com influenced 60% of the average dealerships’ sales and service transactions. And, when it comes to service, over 38% of the dealerships total service customers engaged with Cars.com, with an average of over 440 RO’s per dealer, per month, delivering over $91,000 of profit per month during Q1. On average, 53 of those RO’s were true conquest service customers for the dealer – historically one of the hardest and most expensive type of conquest customers for a dealer to acquire.

CLICK HERE to download the Transparency Case Study

* First-time sales are defined as customers that have not purchased or serviced at the dealership in the past five (5) years.  Data Source – 164 Cars.com attribution studies completed in Q1 2017 Transaction Date Range – 12/1/16 – 3/31/17