September 13, 2006

Car-selling web sites fail to provide customer info to dealers – J.D. Power

Westlake Village, California – According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services Study released on Tuesday, online buying services can help dealers be more successful with closing leads they receive through their web sites by providing more information about the customer to the dealer. According to the study, when customers shop for vehicles on the Internet, online buying sites will generally match them up with the right vehicle, demonstrate that the vehicle is right for them, and then transfer the shopper to the dealership where the deal is closed. However, when the customer is transferred to the dealership, the salesperson generally knows little or nothing about the customer’s overall shopping experience and the shopper may know little or nothing about the dealership.

“Customers, on average, spend five hours researching vehicle models, features and options online,” said Cho. “This is valuable information for dealers as it helps them to more effectively tailor their sales presentation to meet the needs and wants of the customer. However, online buying services generally do not keep track of this information, so the customer ends up starting from scratch again once they are connected with the salesperson. The more information a salesperson has about the customer, the easier it will be for the salesperson to close the deal.”

The 2006 Dealer Satisfaction with Online Buying Services Study is based on 1,010 dealer evaluations of the online buying services they use.

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