Products/Software

Dominion Dealer Solutions launches Dynamic Reports Portal to spotlight ‘essential dealer data’

NORFOLK, Va.  - 

Dominion Dealer Solutions announced during the recent 2018 NADA show the release of its new Dynamic Reports Portal for direct marketing.

The portal, which is designed to bring more relevant data to dealers, provides access to what the company described in a news release as the “four cornerstones of dealer management system-based marketing data”: service revenue, sales revenue, emails sent and email collection.

Dominion shared it designed the new portal to give clients a “dashboard view” of their data, as well as the ability to dive deeper when needed.

Each of the aforementioned data segments have their own widgets, along with top-level details for different campaigns. Through the main dashboard, dealers can also access detailed reports, view granular statistics and export data directly to their inbox.

“Our goal was to retain all of our previous reporting benefits, but present them to our dealers in a fast, cross-device format,” said Alan Andreu, vice president of product at Dominion.

The interface is based on extensive dealership testing and feedback, and it designed to bring the “essential dealership data” to the forefront.

Dealers can use dashboard reports to drill down to the customer and advisor levels, provide engagement, email collection and success reporting.

The Dynamic Reports Portal is accessible across all device types and is securely accessed via a password-protected log-in.

 

 

 

Survey: US consumers show reluctance to adopt autonomous vehicles

NEW YORK - 

Autonomous vehicles have been in the news a lot lately, with headlines ranging from tragic accidents to huge breakthroughs in technology.

With a number of industry leading manufacturers, ridesharing companies and more testing technology at a rapid pace, what remains to be seen in consumers’ appetite for these vehicles of the future.

And that might be a bigger issue for proponents of the technology in the U.S. than in other auto markets.

Interestingly, a recent report from Ipsos showed that although there is widespread interest in autonomous vehicles, the U.S. expresses “higher levels of resistance” than most nations.

The survey, which surveyed more than 21,000 adults across 28 countries, showed that almost one in four Americans “would never use” an autonomous vehicle.

There might be a mismatch in interest versus research as American tech and automotive companies lead the way in autonomous vehicle development, according to Ipsos data.

Canadian consumers are expressing doubts, as well. According to the survey results, consumer in China are twice as likely to say they “can’t wait” to use autonomous vehicles than Americans or Canadians.

Ipsos analysts explained perhaps part of the challenge in the U.S. is Americans' "strong identity as a car-cutlture."

Survey results showed that nearly six in 10 people in the U.S. consider themselves "car people," while 81 percent feel that the car they drive in some way reflects their personality.

There is also a gap when it comes to trusting autonomous vehicles for the general population, according to a study released in January by Autolist.com, which says that division runs along some interesting lines — suggesting that some groups may be earlier adopters of self-driving cars than others.

Interestingly, a group that tends to show more trust in autonomous vehicles are prospective EV owners, according to Autolist.                                              

“In addition, 20.5 percent more prospective EV owners believe some form of autonomous technology should be allowed by law today,” Autolist noted.

Though the Autolist results did not specify the reasons for trusting or not trusting autonomous vehicles, safety and security could arguably be among the major influences either way.

Roadster introduces cross-shop enabling e-commerce solution for dealer groups

CARY, N.C. - 

Dealer groups with multiple rooftops can give owners scale for certain efficiencies, but they sometimes present problems for potential buyers.

Roadster is trying to eliminate possible shopping issues so groups can turn metal quicker — and possibly for more gross profit — no matter which dealership might have a vehicle on its lot.

Roadster launched its new Express Marketplace solution for dealer groups in conjunction with NADA Show 2018 in Las Vegas last week. 

Similar to Roadster's Express Storefront e-commerce platform launched in 2016, its new offering can allow dealers to put their entire car-buying process online but is specifically designed to meet the merchandising needs of dealer groups, in particular.

While Express Storefront is tailored for individual stores, Express Marketplace can give car shoppers access to a dealer group's full inventory so they can easily cross-shop across all the brands within a group.

“This allows dealer groups to have a fully commerce-enabled website for their dealer group so that they can pool their marketing dollars and drive efficiency through that site at the dealer group-level. And then have each piece of inventory go to the individual dealership when somebody is ready to transact,” explained Roadster chief marketing officer Michelle Denogean during a phone demo of the new solution for Auto Remarketing led by chief executive officer Andy Moss.

With Express Marketplace, dealers can merchandise all their inventory in one place and provide the same commerce capabilities across each vehicle.

The new platform's deal-building tools can allow customers to desk their own deal, then pick up where they left off on a dealer’s Express Storefront or physical location.

“Instead of being just for store X, Y and Z, this site is really aimed at the group where you can literally have inventory from across all 5, 10 and 30 brands — all in one place,” Moss said.

“This process is actually happening with the individual dealerships, but you’re initiating it from the actual dealer group site, providing a consistent experience across each of their stores that are a part of the dealer group.”

Moss explained that the platform is ideal for dealer groups that have 10 to 30 stores in a specific geographic location and want to offer consumers a modernized retail experience.

“The product is focused on the dealer groups because there's lots of groups that have close proximity to many of their stores and this gives them the opportunity to refocus their advertising efforts on a regional basis at the group level — as opposed to on a store-by-store case,” Moss explained.

“We see a lot of demand for that piece of it.”

Dealer groups can choose to show inventory within a particular area, or expand to reach consumers more broadly.

“It also works pretty well for the independent’s that want to provide commerce capabilities for their full inventory of used cars across all of their locations,” Moss added.

Five key retailing solutions provided by Express Marketplace include:

  • Multiple payment options
  • Easy trade valuation
  • Service and protection plans
  • Optional accessories store
  • Secure credit application

Moss said, “Most dealerships are missing the opportunity to upsell accessories as part of the deal and in a very margin-constrained environment, every dollar makes a difference to whether that deal is profitable or not.”

As customers desk their deal, Express Marketplace can allow dealer groups to introduce them to a range of add-ons that they can purchase as part of their deal without overwhelming them.

“On the service and protection plan side, across the board, we’re hearing that the back-end gross associated with these types of transactions is better,” Moss explained. “It partly is because you get several bites at the apple for presenting products.”

PNC Bank, TrueCar team up to offer new digital auto ‘shopping experience’

PITTSBURGH - 

PNC Bank and TrueCar have teamed up to offer consumers a new digital auto shopping experience.

PNC Total Auto, powered by TrueCar, was launched Tuesday, a tool which the companies shared lets auto shoppers “browse, borrow, buy in three easy steps.”

The end-to-end digital car buying experience is designed to help consumers better understand how much a car will cost before they go to the dealership — ending up more confident in completing their vehicle purchase when they get to the showroom.

Shoppers can use the tool on their computers, tablets or mobile devices to shop for cars from their local dealers, as well as narrow their search by feature and price.

They can also apply for financing, and if approved, receive a check to bring into the dealer the very next day.

"We recognize that the negotiating and car buying process can be stressful," said Lakhbir Lamba, head of retail lending products at PNC Bank. "PNC Total Auto better prepares customers to make informed shopping and purchasing decisions by providing a fair, comparable price and a simplified process."

The new digital auto shopping platform combines TrueCar search and pricing with PNC's "Check Ready" program.

Through Check Ready, if a customer’s application is approved, they are authorized to purchase a car for up to a certain amount, PNC explained. But the check doesn’t include a final price or a dealer name, which gives the shopper flexibility to shop around.

The Check Ready program can be used for contracts between $7,500 to $50,000 on vehicles 8 years old or newer. PNC shared they can assist customers with auto loans larger than $50,000 through other products.

Carvana enters Denver market, continues westward expansion

DENVER - 

Online car buying platform Carvana announced Tuesday the launch of its new Denver market as the company continues its westward expansion.

Denver customers can now shop the more than 10,000 company-owned vehicles on Carvana.com.

The site also offers services online to finance and purchase your vehicles, as well as schedule as-soon-as-next-day vehicle delivery. They can even trade in their current car through the site as well; Carvana boasts that customers can even trade in their current car in as little as 10 minutes.

“Denver is increasingly getting attention for its tech hub attributes and its residents deserve to keep pace with the city in which they live and work,” said Ernie Garcia, founder and chief executive officer of Carvana. “We’re proud to provide a solution for their car buying needs with our no-haggle, online approach, and free, as-soon-as-next-day vehicle delivery.”

Carvana has delivered vehicles to customers in 48 states, and offers free, as-soon-as next-day delivery to residents in 56 markets. Earlier this month, Carvana announced the launch of its San Diego market.

And before that, in late February, the company entered four new markets on the Eastern seaboard. 

 

Cars.com offers new social targeting tool, integrates AI chat solution for customers

CHICAGO - 

As dealers, vendors and more gathered for NADA 2018 in Las Vegas, Cars.com launched its new social targeting product, as well as announced it will make available to its customers Conversations — an AI chat solution.

Conversations is the first integrated Dealer Inspire product announcement since Cars.com purchased Dealer Inspire and Launch Digital Marketing for $165 million in February. 

Cars Social, designed to attract more leads through Facebook and Instagram, leverages Cars.com audience data and targets consumers on social media who previously researched inventory or expressed interest in similar vehicles in the market, the company explained.

Targeted social media users will see a social ad with inventory imagery from local retailers that fits their search and shopping preferences. Then those ads will redirect shoppers to their corresponding VDP pages on Cars.com. Further, a team of social media account managers will be available to dealers to “optimize campaigns and set up data feeds.”

“We know millions of people across the country, including Cars.com shoppers, spend a significant amount of time on social platforms, and a smart use of social media advertising moves shoppers through the sales funnel,” said Alex Vetter, president and chief executive officer at Cars.com. “We want to help dealers extend their reach and connect with these buyers wherever they shop.”

Further, Dealer Inspire product Conversations is described as a managed chat solution built with artificial intelligence and “synced with a dealership’s inventory”.

The Conversations platform was developed by Dealer Inspire, and will now be integrated with Cars.com through a Conversations Starter package.

All new chats will be answered by an AI chatbot named “Ana,” which can greet customers, answer frequently asked questions and schedule appointments. If she doesn’t know how to answer a question, she will transfer the customer to the dealerhship’s team or Dealer Inspire’s Managed Chat Call Center to expand on the response and capture the customer’s information for the dealer.

“AI is the next frontier in automotive,” said Vetter. “Cars.com intends to lead the industry by applying AI to create a smarter car shopping and selling experience for consumers and dealers. Conversations is the first AI chatbot that integrates seamlessly into a third-party site and a dealer website so that dealers can connect with consumers whenever and wherever they are shopping.”

Dominion introduces updated inventory app with enhanced pricing features, mobility

NORFOLK, Va. - 

Dominion Dealer Specialties, a division of Dominion Dealer Solutions, announced Tuesday that it has released a fully-redesigned Inventory Manager (IVM) mobile app to provide dealers with enhanced pricing features that allow dealers to easily manage their inventory wherever they are.

This follows news from February that Dominion redesigned its DealActivator solution to provide users with personalized experiences based on their dealership roles.

Appraisal and inventory capabilities available on the IVM app have been enhanced to make adding appraised vehicles to inventory more efficient via automatic data transfer, according to Dealer Specialties vice president Shane Marcum.

“The ability to quickly and easily add and edit multiple photos to a vehicle from the mobile gallery adds efficiency, simplifies the process and makes dealers’ lives easier in their inventory management process,” Marcum explained in a news release.

In addition to the ability to add new vehicles, edit features and photos, dealers can access book values, competitor market inventory, and vehicle history reports via the IVM app.

The newly updated app is free to download from both iOS and Android app stores.

Dealer DNA introduces new marketing engine to provide transparent transactions, higher quality leads

Somers, N.Y. - 

Lead generation solution provider DealerDNA announced Monday that it has launched – DealerDNA Synergie – a proprietary marketing engine that plugs into dealers’ existing websites to provide transparent transactions with high-quality leads.

DealerDNA Synergie offers performance reporting that equips dealerships with tools to analyze the productivity and lead generation activities of ad campaigns.

“For the first time dealers will be able to push trim-level pricing to consumers across their digital marketing assets and offer the lowest price on the vehicle in real time.  Best part? It’s all automated, so it provides a ‘set it and forget it’ mentality to best pricing marketing. It’s going to be a game-changer,” DealerDNA chief executive officer Steven Couture said in a news release.

Along with high-performance inventory data mining, DealerDNA Synergie supplies dealers a customizable specials engine with fully engineered ad campaigns.  DealerDNA said ad campaigns are dynamically linked to Google, Bing, model specific landing pages and payment calculators.

According to the company, its new marketing engine can provide dealers: 

  • A 65-percent increase in site traffic and page views
  • Thirty percent average click-spend savings over competitors
  •  SEM management fee of seven percent

“Coming from the automotive side of the business myself, it was important to me to provide a customizable resource for those who want it, but also an automated solution for those dealers who don’t want to take further resources away from the business of selling,” said Doug Foss, chief marketing officer at DealerDNA. “With Synergie, you get the best of both worlds.”

DealersLink announces affordable new-car pricing tool launch at NADA

BROOMFIELD, Colo. - 

DealersLink announced Tuesday that it will introduce a new pricing tool at the upcoming 2018 NADA Show in Las Vegas that gives dealers an affordable way to monitor and manage new-car pricing.

To see a demonstration of the new-car pricing tool, visitors can meet with DealersLink dealer consultants at booth 337N.

“We’re offering the most affordable new-car pricing tool in the industry,” DealersLink chief executive officer Mike Goicoechea said in a news release. “On average, dealers who switch from their current tool to ours are able to save more than 50 percent off their monthly bill. Plus, we don’t charge you an extra fee for each additional franchise under your roof,” Goicoechea explained.

Along with rebate and incentive management, the new pricing tool’s features include automated updates, which free up dealership staff from possibly spending several hours per week pricing and updating new cars and competition view, which informs dealers who their new-car competitors are and how they are pricing their inventory.

Additionally, the new tool will also provide dealers with insight into supply and demand for each vehicle.

According to the company, the new-car pricing tool will be available for one flat fee per month, with no contracts and no setup fees.

Manheim set to release new marketplace app for listing, selling inventory faster this summer

ATLANTA - 

Manheim announced Wednesday that this summer, it is launching a new and free 24/7 option within the Manheim Marketplace — Manheim Express. The mobile application for dealers provides a fast and easy way to list and sell inventory directly from lots or in-lane.

In addition to the new ManheimExpress.com, the Manheim Marketplace, which experienced 58 million unique visits per year, includes Manheim.com, OVE and OEM-specific marketplaces.

“Manheim Express is a whole new channel and a whole new way to do business in the Manheim Marketplace,” Cox Automotive inventory solutions president Grace Huang said in a new release. “We are bringing the power of the Manheim Marketplace to the dealer’s lot, in the palm of their hand. On top of that, we are launching the industry’s only wholesale guaranteed first bid and are integrating 3D and 360-degree vehicle imaging technology that leapfrogs the competition."

After completing a few quick steps in the Manheim Express mobile app, dealers can take a Guaranteed First Bid (GFB), list it in the Manheim Marketplace, order an inspection or consign it to a Manheim operating location.

With Manheim’s GFB, the company said a minimum floor price is set, and if the vehicle does not sell for the minimum floor price or greater after being listed in the Manheim Marketplace for two business days, Manheim will buy the vehicle at the GFB price.

Dealers scan the VIN to immediately receive the vehicle’s value from Manheim Market Report, AutoCheck Snapshot vehicle history report data and manufacturer build data.

If a dealer prefers to not sell the vehicle in any of the Manheim Digital Marketplaces, they can now send their inventory to the Manheim operating location of their choosing on the app.

“Manheim Express is another example of how Manheim continues revolutionizing inventory wholesaling and how Manheim Marketplace is uniquely positioned to meet clients wherever they are – even off their lots,” added Huang.

Additionally, Manheim Express allows dealers to walk a car and create a listing complete with 360-degree images that can be uploaded into the Manheim Marketplace within three minutes.

Manheim has partnered with computer vision company Fyusion to enable dealers to walk cars and create interactive 3D images and apply smart tags to any damaged areas.

“Our products are focused on creating intelligent 3D imaging,” said Fyusion chief executive officer Radu Rusu. “Any dealer will be able to easily create a fully tagged interactive 3D image from their Android or iOS phone, that's viewable on any device — mobile or desktop.”

Manheim said it will showcase Manheim Express via hands-on demonstrations at the 2018 NADA Show.

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