Article

Online Tools Generate Higher Profitability And Consumer Confidence

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Rob Chesney - Also by this author

The Internet is no longer a new medium for dealers. In fact, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association, more than 94 percent of franchise dealers have their own Web site and 68 percent of those have completed a sale on the Internet. Dealers have come a long way in uncovering and utilizing the Internet to expand their reach beyond local markets and complementing their traditional sales channels.
Today, dealers are demanding more sophisticated tools to improve their management of the Internet space to attract customers. New, more advanced tools make online vehicle sales easy and rewarding for dealers and enable them to simplify decision making and improve productivity.
 
EBay Motors continues to be in the forefront of helping dealers meet their bottom lines with innovative tools that get dealers’ vehicles in front of the 10 million unique visitors that visit eBay Motors each month. Now, eBay Motors offers an advanced tool that helps make real-time dollars and cents assessments of vehicles’ value based upon data from the eBay marketplace.
 
Additionally, eBay Motors is continuing to build confidence in its consumers by offering tools that provide consumers with a comfortable buying experience. In fact, users are so comfortable with the site and its protections that 75 percent of the vehicles sold on eBay Motors are interstate transactions, with vehicles being delivered to buyers outside the state of the sellers. One such service is helping dealers provide an independent, comprehensive vehicle condition reports that will significantly heighten buyer confidence.

Profit Projections through SmartLaunch™

American Automotive Exchange (www.aaXchange.com), a provider of technology solutions for new and used vehicle inventory management, recently introduced a new service called SmartLaunch™. This technology allows members of aaXchange to ascertain which of the vehicles in their inventory will generate the highest profit on eBay Motors and the amount of profit that can be anticipated. SmartLaunch™ uses real-time data from eBay Motors to recommend a listing price on the site. This program does this by processing every vehicle in the dealer’s inventory to calculate the anticipated profit, based upon data from the eBay Motors marketplace.

If the dealer decides to sell a particular vehicle, the click of an on-screen button lists that vehicle to eBay Motors through aaXchange, minimizing the time commitment for the dealer. Key information about the vehicle is captured automatically and routed to both aaXchange and CARad, an eBay owned listing-creation tool. Dealers can then manage their listings within aaXchange throughout the entire sales process, creating one point of reference to track their eBay Motors sales.

Dealers can also conduct a comparative analysis, effortlessly tracking their percentage of eBay Motors sales and the profits generated compared to the profitability of their retail and wholesale channels. aaXchange traditionally has offered a retail v. wholesale report to illustrate the effectiveness of its vehicle management strategies. Now it has added an eBay Motors performance report that shows both current and past listings on the site with details of the resulting sales performance. These sophisticated but easy-to-use tools will enable the dealer to set realistic prices that boost the level of profitability of online vehicle sales.

New Independent Vehicle Condition Reports

While dealers are commanding more sophisticated online tools to list vehicles, buyers are expecting the same level of sophistication in order to confidently make vehicle purchases online.

One tool many dealers have utilized to build customer confidence is the vehicle history report. If dealers offer vehicle history reports, the buyers trust increases which will bring a higher price and improved margins for that vehicle. As other tools dealers utilize have evolved, so have vehicle history reports, now offering buyers confidence at a level not before available.

ListAssure™ provides dealers the opportunity to give buyers confidence through a 150-point independent vehicle condition report. The condition reports are supplied jointly by SGS Automotive Services, a leader in vehicle inspections, serving off-lease, new car, rental car and auction markets, and Auction123.com, which provides tools to create and manage online listings on eBay Motors.

Listings produced by ListAssure™ offer the opportunity to include as many as 20 photographs with a detailed condition report from one of the SGS professional vehicle inspectors. SGS (www.us.sgs.com) is the nation’s largest independent vehicle inspection service, conducting some 14 million inspections a year for manufacturers, lenders and rental-car fleets. The SGS field force incorporates nearly 1,000 inspectors and support personnel across the United States. Its condition reports allow for assessment of excess wear and tear on leased vehicles and support remarketing of the vehicles.

The ListAssure™ reports from SGS can then be integrated with Auction123 to easily and quickly create a listing on eBay Motors.

The introductions of SmartLaunch™ and ListAssure™ in the market indicate solution providers are accelerating the creation of a broad range of integrated programs to make sales through eBay Motors easier, faster and more profitable for the dealer. These new tools, presented at the 2005 National Automobile Dealers Association conference in late January, are already being acknowledged as important advances for dealers utilizing online vehicle sales. They are being welcomed for bolstering the advantages of online sales in moving pre-owned vehicles that once lingered on the lot, providing higher returns and improved customer confidence.

Vol 2, Issue 5

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