NADA Connected Car Tech News: Dealer AI, Tracking, Research, DRM, CRM & Lot Management

For NADA there are many new services and news announcements. There is software that could be more intelligent than dealers. There are also studies about the car buying process and new services for dealers. Companies making announcements include Conversica, automotiveMasterMind, VinSolutions, Dealertrack, Cox Automotive, DealerRater and Spireon.

Coversica AI

Conversica, the leader in artificial intelligence powered business conversations, is changing how the sales process is done. Conversica has new data that shows human sales people give up after the second try, even though the optimal number of attempts is 5-11. Conversica provides a cloud-based artificial intelligence service that presents itself as a dealer’s human assistant who reaches out to internet sales and service leads and engages each of them in a human conversation.

The research of 59 companies in the automotive industry found nearly one-fifth of the automotive dealers contacted did not respond to a direct, specific inquiry. And 24% of automotive respondents made only 1 or 2 attempts to respond before giving up. The answer is to have AI do the contacting not the sales associate.

Conversica’s AI-powered software:

• 8 million conversations between the AI and humans.
• 95% touchless message handling rate means.
• Helped create more than $10 billion in revenue.
• Used by 15,000 sales representatives worldwide.

automotiveMasterMind for Analytics

Automotive dealers compete to target the right customer at the right time with the right offer and message. Dealers have always found ways to accomplish this, but have not had the power of behavior prediction to help. automotiveMastermind (aM) is the leading predictive analytics and marketing automation technology for dealerships and manufacturers – and it’s transforming the sales process.

The aM technology empowers sales teams with key insights and valuable information on its top prospects. Its proprietary algorithm crunches thousands of data points, combining DMS (dealer management system) information with Big Data – including social media, financial, product and customer lifecycle information, to calculate how likely a consumer is to purchase a new vehicle now. The complex data is distilled into one simple number, the Behavior Prediction Score® (BPS), which is a ranking from 0-100. The higher the score, the more likely the customer is to buy. aM takes this information one step further by layering on micro-targeted email and direct mail campaigns. The simple, intuitive nature of the technology speaks for itself.

VinSolutions Targets Service Opps

VinSolutions announced that they are expanding as a Dealer Technology Assistance Program (DTAP) Certified provider by adding VinSolutions equity mining tools, TargetPro and TargetPro+, which have been approved for the iMR Turnkey Vendor Program.

Designed to help dealerships turn customer data into sales and service opportunities, TargetPro and TargetPro+ are add-ons to VinSolutions’ industry-leading Connect CRM. TargetPro helps dealers identify prospects in their database and segment customers based on ownership position factors such as equity, APR, lease terms and more. This information can then be used to develop relevant, timely and personalized offers. TargetPro+ users benefit from dedicated account managers who create and send monthly email campaigns to profitable customer segments.

Track Dealers to Keep Them On Track

Dealertrack, a Cox Automotive brand, continues to elevate the capabilities and expectations surrounding today’s dealership management systems (DMS) with the unveiling of Performance Management and Business Intelligence. Dealertrack’s ‘High Tech, High Touch’ approach to DMS features a unique combination of powerful reporting technology, or Business Intelligence, with a personalized level of support, called Performance Management, allowing dealers to maximize the full potential of their DMS.

Performance Management and Business Intelligence build on Dealertrack’s cloud-based, open integration DMS platform to support dealership operations and optimize performance. With real-time performance insights and at-a-glance metrics, Business Intelligence allows dealers to quickly gauge department health and identify opportunities for growth. Performance Management provides dealers with an industry expert to help analyze the insights provided through Business Intelligence. Drawing from their experience, the Performance Manager partners with dealership management to develop long and short term objectives to achieve their business goals.

Car Buyers Spend Time Online and Mobile  But Don’t Like Paperwork, Survey Says

Key findings from a Cox Automotive study indicate a continuing upward trend in the time spent researching vehicle purchases online, highlighting a major opportunity for dealers to engage consumers by leveraging digital channels.

Thee average car buyer spends 60 percent of their total purchase process online, 62 percent of which takes place on third-party sites. Further, only 32 percent of consumers know the exact vehicle they want when starting to shop online — but 55 percent test-drive only the vehicle they purchase, indicating that the decision was made online.

Mobile is an important part of the buying process 53 percent of consumers now use a mobile device to shop for a vehicle, compared to just 46 percent in 2016. In addition, 18 percent of consumers research vehicles exclusively on mobile, up from 14 percent last year. This continuing rise of mobile creates a chance for dealers to target and effectively influence shoppers at any time and from anywhere, through mobile-specific content.

More than half of car buyers do not contact the dealership prior to their first visit. It is therefore crucial for dealers to have effective sourcing and CRM processes in place to help understand initial contacts and walk-in traffic.

Nearly half of all buyers visited the website of the dealership where they purchased or leased a vehicle. When asked to rate how influential the dealer website was on their decision to visit the dealership, 47% of New buyers and 60% of Used buyers gave the dealership site an 8-10 rating on a scale of 1-10.

When asked to rate their satisfaction on a scale of 1-10, 79% of car buyers gave the test-driving process an 8-10 rating. However, satisfaction declined to 64% when interactions with the F&I department were factored in. Of the 3-hours average time spent at the dealer during the purchase process, more than half of that time is spent negotiating or doing paperwork, resulting in a 49% satisfaction rate for how long the process takes. It’s no surprise that buyers dislike doing the paperwork.

Read full study findings.

The 2017 Car Buyer Journey, commissioned by Cox Automotive hoem of Auto Trader and Kellye Blue Book, through IHS Automotive, was conducted to gain an understanding of consumer car-shopping behavior and perception of the dealer experience. A total of 2,175 car buyers who purchased a vehicle within the 12 months prior to August 6, 2016 particpated in the survey.

The study indicates that 87 percent of shoppers interact with Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book’s or a dealer website before purchasing.

DealerRater Rates Dealers

DealerRater Connections is a new product that connects dealership salespeople to motivated, in-market shoppers before they ever walk onto the lot. connects dealership salespeople to motivated, in-market shoppers before they ever walk onto the lot.

Kahu for Dealers

Spireon introducse its latest connected car solution – Kahu – at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Convention & Expo in New Orleans. Kahu is designed for dealers, providing streamlined lot management while delivering a new finance and insurance (F&I) profit center by offering consumers a modern location tracking and stolen vehicle recovery service. Additionally, Kahu empowers dealers to grow service retention with car buyers by providing accurate vehicle data for proactive maintenance reminders that can improve vehicle health and keep vehicles within warranty.

Kahu includes an aftermarket GPS device and mobile apps for both dealers and their customers. The solution provides these features and benefits to dealers:

  • Lot Management — Dealers can easily manage inventory, track specific vehicle location, and see low battery indicators using a mobile phone or tablet, streamlining operations and creating a better buying experience for consumers. Virtual geofences and after-hours alerts allow dealers to identify and recover stolen vehicles within minutes.
  • F&I Profit Center — Kahu offers dealers a high value add-on for consumers who seek peace of mind with a next generation vehicle recovery service and an arsenal of easy-to-use mobile features. From 24/7 vehicle location visibility, so consumers can track their vehicle and family at all times, to smart alerts for speeding and low battery, Kahu is an attractive add-on that safeguards consumers while driving dealer profit.
  • Customer Loyalty — Kahu uses GPS-based mileage tracking to improve the accuracy of service reminders and increase service retention. Consumers benefit by being able to
  • maximize warranty protection and ensure recommended service intervals are maintained.