Data-Driven Pre-Owned Acquisition for Combating Inventory Challenges

As parts shortages continue and the used car market remains hot, it’s more important than ever for dealerships to succeed at preowned acquisition.

Lists like Forbes’ “Best Used Cars Under $5,000 for 2021” might offer some insight into vehicles to pursue. But are these cars telling of what consumers want? How quickly will they sell?

With AutoAlert’s real-time data platform, guessing at those answers takes a backseat to knowing the answers to more powerful questions: “Which customers have vehicles we’d like to acquire?” and “Which of these customers, who are ready to trade, do we have a replacement vehicle for?”

Knowing this – and having proven processes to connect with these customers – your team can turn opportunities into inventory on the lot, as well as sales matches.

Connecting the Dots with Data

Data provides reliable insights that can be used strategically to meet your team’s and customers’ needs today.

When it comes to obtaining highly desirable used vehicles, the AutoAlert platform offers various approaches. Let’s take a closer look at two of them.

1. Start with the vehicles you have.

This involves matching your new and preowned inventory with customers who would likely be interested in trading their vehicle today.

Start by seeing your opportunities (potential customers) for all your in-stock vehicles. AutoAlert determines opportunities based on transparent data such as shopping behavior, interaction with marketing materials, current vehicle “position,” etc. More data points than any other tool.

From your list of potential customers, you can focus on those with the best trades. You might choose to focus on customers who can upgrade for the same payment, perhaps further focusing on those whose contract is within a specific number of months from being up. Maybe you want to focus on the sale type: cash, lease, retail, balloon.

Like new vehicle offers through AutoAlert, you can offer multiple used vehicles to give customers more options upfront.

2. Start with what your customers have.

Another approach is to use the platform to find specific vehicles you desire.

You can search by make, model, year, trim, exterior color, interior color, and odometer range. When searching sold customers within your database, you’ll get a list of customers ranked in order of their likelihood of trading today, with full visibility into the reasons why and their best trade matches.

When searching service-only (conquest) customers, you can also search by RO date and appointment details. Your results will still be ranked, and each customer has a deal sheet where you can manually enter their payment info or capture financial details via CreditConvert to enter them into the platform for opportunity alerts and offers.

Targeted Marketing & Service to Sales

Now that you have your lists of opportunities, it’s just a matter of connecting with these customers. AutoAlert’s platform makes it easy through streamlined processes that are transparent and tracked.

Get the conversation started through a phone call, a text, or a piece of personalized marketing, such as an email, a digital ad, or direct mail – or a combination.

Because you’re notified when the customer has an upcoming service appointment, your team can prepare in advance for the conversation. They can also see any marketing the customer has been sent and if they’ve engaged with it, to further guide their conversation.

91% of servicing customers, when asked if they plan to buy their next vehicle from their current servicing dealership, responded either “Yes” (46%) or “Undecided” (45%)*. Being able to reach them with the right message at the right time is critical.

Sometimes you will better serve the customer approaching them prior to their work being done; other times, leaving the printed-out offer on the driver’s seat makes more sense. The platform makes it easy to track all of your efforts and perfect them as you go.

Schedule time with an AutoAlert data pro today, and start using data to take the guesswork out of pre-owned acquisition!

*Source: DriveSure’s “2020 Dealership Service Retention Report”