In an exclusive with Auto Remarketing, revealed it has enhanced features included in the new Connections Expert solution in an effort to make it easier for dealers to provide a better shopping experience online.

New for 2012 are the comprehensive Chat Dashboard and Sitelink Pro feature, officials revealed.

Commenting on the news, president and chief executive officer of Chip Perry had this to say: “We are always looking for ways to provide more value to our dealers and continue to improve the online experience for the millions of consumers who use to shop for their next vehicle.

“By creating a deeper connection point into the dealer’s website with Sitelink Pro, we are removing a few extra clicks in the shopping process, and the new Chat Dashboard gives dealers the power to easily share a richer set of information with shoppers,” he continued.

Just last year, introduced the original Connections solution, “Which gave dealers advanced functionality to create deeper connections with their shoppers online by connecting their listings on to their dealership website, third-party online review sites, Facebook and Twitter pages and by enabling shoppers to connect directly with the dealership through real-time chat,” the company explained.

Now, the new enhancements, which will be available in the Connections Expert solution, are taking this solution to the next level.

The company provided commentary on the two new features:

—Chat Dashboard: “This new dashboard gives dealers everything they need to have seamless, productive chats with in-market shoppers. With this feature, dealers will be able to dynamically share links to relevant content, such as offers, incentives, similar vehicles, model information and ratings and reviews with consumers from within the chat window,” officials noted.

—Sitelink Pro: “When a shopper is ready to take the leap from the vehicle details page (VDP) on to the dealer’s own website, the new Sitelink Pro feature will enable them to save a few clicks by linking deep into the dealer’s site, directly to the car they were viewing. Previously, the link directed shoppers to the main page of the dealer’s website. The Sitelink Pro feature is available to dealers who utilize VinSolutions services,” the company surmised.

So, just why has the company continued the evolution of its Connection solution?

To answer that question, company officials cited the results of the 2011 Automotive Buyer Influence Study, conducted with over 4,000 recent vehicle purchasers.

According to that study, consumers conduct more than 18 hours of research before purchasing a vehicle.

And for the 71 percent of buyers who used the Internet during the shopping process, 60 percent of their time was spent online; and the majority of that time was spent on third-party sites like, according to the study.

“Throughout the shopping process, they are seeking content and being exposed to multiple brand impressions, and the Connections Expert solution helps dealers create multiple touch points for consumers, streamlining that process,” the company stressed.

 That said, engaging the consumer at each point in their shopping process has the potential to improve the chances of turning a shopper into a buyer.

“Today’s consumers are looking to learn as possible before visiting the dealership, and the Connections Expert solution gives dealers multiple ways to create those necessary connections and make it easy for consumers to find the information they’re looking for,” Perry concluded.