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1 More and more digital conversations are happening * Based on the volume of digital conversations (chats and texts) between consumers and dealers facilitated via the Contact At Once! network of sites each year. NORTH AMERICA CONTACT AT ONCE! 2014 DEALER SURVEY RESULTS Tap into Instant Connections with Online, Mobile Shoppers

2 IS YOUR DEALERSHIP PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE OF CAR SHOPPING? The steady advancement of the millennial generation into prime car-buying ages and the growth of mobile technology use in every generation are playing big roles in what automotive consumers now expect and dealers are starting to provide. But just how prepared are dealerships when it comes to actually engaging today s (and tomorrow s) car buyers? In a recent survey, Contact At Once! asked dealership professionals for their opinions on several key communications for the online shopping path, and we ve chronicled what they could mean for the industry here: WHAT S CHANGED FOR CONSUMERS HOW DEALERS p3 p5 p8 ARE ADAPTING WHERE WE COULD IMPROVE Methodology Along with outside research into consumer trends, this report is based on a two-week July 2014 survey Contact At Once! conducted with 1,600 dealer professionals in North America, from GMs to sales managers, Internet sales managers and directors, as well as salespeople. About 66% were from dealer groups; 34% were from stand-alone dealerships. Statistics are based on opinions expressed by respondents on specific topics and questions. All questions were not answered by every participant; nor did every participant have knowledge applicable to every question. What s the Online Shopping Path? It includes steps a consumer takes online before purchasing, from searches to website visits, inventory views, video plays and, of course, direct engagement (chat, text, ), etc. Check out last year s 2013 Dealer Survey Results for more on this new path to purchase and how chat can help dealers win: autodealerchat.com/download p DEALER SURVEY

3 WHAT S CHANGED FOR CONSUMERS Millennials and mobile continue to be hot topics in every industry, and they re only getting hotter. Millennials: A Force to Reckon With It used to be easy to discount the millennial generation too young to buy cars, not making enough money, etc. But guess what? They re growing up. Every day, more millennials edge into the car-buying consumer market: Recently, J.D. Power and Associates said millennials generated a larger share of U.S. new vehicle sales than the slightly older Generation X (26% vs. 24%) SURVEY SAYS 92 % say the millennial generation is very important for their dealership to attract. It s also seen as the most difficult: What generation is the hardest to sell to? 15.6% GEN X 17.8% SENIORS 22.7% BOOMERS 44% MILLENNIALS By 2020, they ll make up about 40% of the carbuying population. 2 While they currently lag behind baby boomers as the car-buying majority, remember: Millennials will be where the boomers are sooner than you think. And they re bringing their smartphones and mobile mindset with them. CHALLENGE: Understand and adapt to millennials buying behaviors so you can reach and influence them before their decision is made. (For example, 94% of our survey respondents say that millennials do more research before coming into the dealership.) p DEALER SURVEY

4 Mobile Technology: It s Changing Everything Online research isn t just something millennials do, either. Google says that 95% of vehicle shoppers use digital channels and many of their up to 24 research points 3 are now accessed via mobile device. That mobile access is what s really changing the game: Almost everyone s using it: As of June 2014, comscore reports that 173 million people in the U.S. own smartphones (72% of all mobile subscribers). 4 Those who do are always-on, alwaysconnected: Consumers spend 2 hours, 51 minutes 5 on their mobile devices per day; 38 hours per month 6 on phones alone. And 43% never unplug. 7 It changes how consumers research, communicate & buy: More than 4 in 5 U.S. smartphone/tablet owners use those devices for shopping activities. 8 In the auto world, this often translates into mobile searches and visits (63% even do this while on a dealership lot 9 ). In fact, 35% of auto research is now done exclusively on mobile. 10 No wonder most buyers show up with their homework done. But will they show up at your dealership? The chances are significantly higher if you can get into their circle of influence and build your value story as they research. They re looking for answers; provide them! CHALLENGE: Meet and interact with shoppers at those moments of need, no matter when or where or the device used. p DEALER SURVEY

5 HOW CONTACT AT ONCE! DEALERS ARE ADAPTING Offering mobile-friendly communication options like chat and text helps dealers appeal to the growing number of always-on digital consumers, including millennials. And the survey says that it s paying off. Almost all (98%) of our survey respondents say their text-based communications are important; about 75% call them very important. Perhaps that s because with chat and/or text messaging, their shoppers have easy ways to ask questions and get answers in real time right as they research...on the screen of their choice. Such convenience only seems to get more attractive as consumers get more mobile. Chat and text are what millennials prefer, according to 90.8% of our respondents. Plus, we looked back at the last three years of Contact At Once! data and found a steady increase in the number of chats that convert to sales SURVEY SAYS 2014 SURVEY SAYS TOTAL CARS SOLD 10.65% 2013 GROWTH 8.42% 2014 GROWTH % of respondents who expressed an opinion said the Contact At Once! platform helps their dealership sell more cars. The average number of cars sold per month to consumers who first contacted the dealership* through chat grew 10.65% in 2013 and 8.42% in *based on those with Contact At Once! chat on their dealership website and third-party listings. p DEALER SURVEY Want More About Chat? Download last year s 2013 Dealer Survey Results for more on how dealers are using chat to boost their sales opportunities: autodealerchat.com/download

6 Tapping into Text: The Modern Convenience Texting is also rising in popularity among dealerships and their customers no surprise when you consider it s native to the phone that likely follows you from bed to work, school or play, and home again. Here s how our survey respondents are tapping in: 92% of the salespeople who took our survey say they personally text with customers. 94% of respondents say they would miss opportunities if they didn t use SMS texting to communicate with customers. Almost 75% say they re more likely to get a response from a lead when they follow up via SMS vs. a phone call. (After all, mobile users check their phone 100x/day. 5 ) Consider this: The ease of click-to-call buttons on mobile have already prompted many consumers to go that route as opposed to waiting for an Tap-to-text options can be even more convenient, depending on the shopper s availability and his or her tendency to put off calls until the last possible moment. Millennials especially prefer to text, seeing it as less of a time commitment. (Calls inevitably take up more time than a text conversation. 12 You don t feel the need to make small talk while texting!). Plus, ongoing text conversations can keep you connected to customers for days or weeks! However, while texting can be a great way to interact with customers, there are still regulations businesses have to follow. That s where many dealerships falter. For example, the majority of respondents did not use a texting solution to track those conversations or help with proper opt-in, opt-out and permission procedures (more about the risks that poses later). And it s not a fad. It s an evolution. p DEALER SURVEY

7 Offering Choice: The Ultimate Convenience Another interesting find in this survey is the number of dealers who believe in offering car shoppers multiple options to connect: 86.4% of respondents say they d miss opportunities if they relied exclusively on phone and form leads SURVEY SAYS 86.4 % of respondents say they d miss opportunities if they relied exclusively on phone and form leads. Now, some shoppers who chat or text with dealerships today would still place a call if that was their only choice. But this is key some shoppers wouldn t. They d put it off, giving competitors more chances to woo them away with convenience or deals. As previous Dataium results revealed, chat adds leads to the ones gathered from a dealership s more traditional sources. 13 Those added leads are consumers who might not otherwise have reached out. Look at it this way: You don t make ups jump over a barbed wire fence to get to your showroom. Why do it to your digital shoppers? Instead, lower the barriers to taking that first online (or mobile) step toward a sales conversation. Let them choose what s most convenient for them at the moment. WOULD YOU WANT TO MISS ANY OF THESE OPPORTUNITIES? Percentage of Identifiable Shoppers Who Purchased a Vehicle* after connecting with a dealership via the following methods 33% CHAT 28% PHONE CALL 22% TEXT *Based on 3 separate IHS Automotive/Polk analyses commissioned by Contact At Once! in 2012 and In those studies, IHS Automotive/Polk matched shoppers who provided personally identifiable information via either chats, texts or phone calls to households with vehicle sales. It can only invite more opportunities your way. p DEALER SURVEY

8 WHERE WE COULD IMPROVE Is your dealership doing all it can to prepare for the changes mobile consumers are driving? Many are moving in the right direction, but there s still work to do. Based on the survey results, here are a few improvements to consider: Get an Official Texting Solution While almost every salesperson in the survey said they texted with their customers, the majority of respondents didn t use a secure texting solution under the dealership s control. If such is the case for your dealership, it means you might not be able to track and capture those mobile leads and conversations in your CRM, and you might be at an increased risk of non-compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). 14 Optimize for Mobile Everything Don t stop with texting or adding the ability to chat from your mobile site. Start thinking about mobile-optimized solutions not just for your website, but for design, local advertising, credit applications, service reminders, payments, etc. Look at all your dealership s processes the way a consumer might: How can they do more with you right from their smartphone or tablet? Whatever You Do, Be Fast Around 96% of survey respondents say it s important that each customer request be followed up with quickly. Other studies say responding to online shoppers within five minutes 15 is vital, which fits right in with the instant gratification that millennials grew up with and mobile technology spreads. Chat or text make it easier to provide even faster responses because they re live, ongoing conversations. Tip Tip Tip MAKE THIS A PRIORITY: Look for a solution that builds in permission-based rules, automates opt-out processes, and records and tracks all conversation transcripts for your one-to-one business-toconsumer texting. (For example, Mobile Text Connect offers all that while syncing to the same Contact At Once! platform you can also use for chat.) Don t forget mobile solutions for your own team! If you chat or text, make sure your team downloads the provider s mobile app so they can interact with customers anywhere (without losing tracking abilities). Look into additional help from backup as needed to after-hours coverage and fully managed solutions so you re prepared when your team just isn t available to respond quickly. (Almost half of the survey respondents who use Contact At Once! chat or text on their dealership websites also use our Virtual Receptionist service for this very reason.) p DEALER SURVEY

9 IN SUMMARY According to a 2014 Accenture survey, 78% of marketing executives expect that digital and mobile will transform their businesses in five years, yet only 21% think they ll be prepared to reap the full benefits. 5 Don t let that be you! Mobile is a fact of life for almost every car-buying consumer, and dealers need to respect its power. Pay attention to mobile consumers needs (be they millennials or any other generation). More importantly, start adapting to those changing needs, as many in this survey have done: The vast majority of salespeople who participated are already texting with customers, and almost all respondents thought they d miss opportunities if they didn t. Questions? If you want to know more about Contact At Once!, Chat Connect 360 (our chat solution), Mobile Text Connect (our texting solution) or Virtual Receptionist (our managed chat and text service), please visit text with us at ! Almost everyone confirmed that it was important to respond to customers quickly...and we know that s just don t cut it in that case. (Perhaps that s one reason they also said they d miss opportunities if they just relied on phone and form leads.) And remember: Many of those who chat and text with dealerships do end up buying, according to both this survey and recent IHS Automotive analyses. 16 p DEALER SURVEY

10 RESOURCES 7. emarketer. People Are Pretty Much Glued to Technology 24/7. August 11, People-Pretty-Much-Glued-Technology-247/ /1 8. Nielsen. Shopping Lists: How Mobile Helps Consumers Tick All the Boxes. February 20, com/content/corporate/us/en/insights/news/2014/shoppinglists-how-mobile-helps-consumers-tick-all-the-boxes.html 9. Cars.com Insights - Placed Inc. Mobile Device Use at the Dealership: How Smartphone Shopping Is Impacting Automotive Retailing. January dealeradvantage.cars.com/da/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ Placed-Mobile-Device-Use-Study-Jan-2014.pdf 10. xad-telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study. June mp2p/mp2p_2014_generalrelease.jpg 11. Automotive News. Dealers Phones Ring Again. David Barkholz. July 21, article/ /retail07/ /dealers-phonesring-again?cciid= -autonews-&r=2772e h8w 12. The Millennial Mystery of Texting Vs. Calling Revealed. Ryan Jenkins. April 21, ryan-jenkins.com/2014/04/21/the-real-reasonmillennials-choose-texting-over-calling/ 13. Dataium. Better Interactions, Better Results Contact At Once!. What Should Your Dealership Know About TCPA? January autodealerchat.com/download#downloadcollateral 1. CNBC. Millennials Buying More New Cars Than Gen X. Paul A. Eisenstein. August 1, Deloitte. Fourth Annual Gen Y Automotive Survey. January Local%20Assets/Documents/us_automotive_2012_ DeloitteAutomotiveGenY_Executive%20Summary_ pdf 3. Google. Digital Drives Auto Shopping. November comscore. comscore Reports June 2014 U.S. Smartphone Subscriber Market Share. August 6, comscore.com/insights/market-rankings/comscore-reports- June-2014-US-Smartphone-Subscriber-Market-Share 5. emarketer. Big-Picture Perspective on Consumers and Marketing in an Always-On, Digital World. August 4, Nielsen. Emerging Trends in Mobile and What They Mean for Your Business. August 5, nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2014/emerging-trendsin-mobile-and-what-they-mean-for-your-business.html 15. Automotive News. Study: Online Shoppers Demand Fast Responses. David Barkholz. November 4, study:-online-shoppers-demand-fast-responses 16. Contact At Once!. Last-Mile Connections: Helping Shoppers Move From Online Search to Showroom Visit. July com/download#downloadcollateral p DEALER SURVEY

11 BE EVERYWHERE YOUR CUSTOMERS ARE, READY TO RESPOND Contact At Once! software boosts engagement by making it easy for consumers to connect with auto dealers and ask questions at the moment their interest is piqued. More engagement can translate into more sales, and that s why 13,000 dealers, the world s busiest automotive classified sites and many automotive manufacturers rely on the Contact At Once! digital conversations platform to build relationships with online shoppers. In fact, we ve been #1 in dealer satisfaction for 4 years running at the DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards. Call or Text: Contact At Once!, LLC. All other trademarks are recognized as proprietary to their respective owners. p DEALER SURVEY

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