• TradePending

Signs of Dealerships’ Digital Health: Website Traffic & Lead Flow During COVID-19 Crisis

Updated: 7 days ago

Updated 5/18/2020

As a trade-in tool provider, TradePending sees daily website traffic and lead flow from over 2,500 franchise dealers across the US. There’s never been a more “interesting” time to sift through this digital data to evaluate online consumer behaviors. We’ll update this data periodically.

When evaluating this data, we realize that there’s a much broader story here than just digital. The entire automotive industry is undergoing a momentous and painful moment.

With that backdrop, we can report signs of positive digital health when evaluating overall website traffic and inbound leads at dealerships. This aggregated data is the output from our website trade-in tool, SNAP.

How to Read These Charts

We treat the week of Monday 3/9/2020 through Sunday 3/15/2020 as the last “normal” week and our baseline. The following week (3/16 - 3/22) saw many businesses sending their employees home, retail businesses closing, and statewide “shelter in place” orders going into effect. We refer to this as Covid Week 1, with each subsequent week running from Monday - Sunday.

Dealership In-Bound Lead Flow Increasing During COVID-19

Week 9 of the COVID crisis saw the 2nd largest flow of inbound leads, compared to the baseline last "normal" week. While the place slowed down two weeks ago, it's rebounded strongly last week. Lead flow was up 53.8% for TradePending customers nation-wide last week.

Previous data showed that lead flow suffered during the early days of the week. In weeks 5-9 that trend reversed, with each day showing significant growth compared to the baseline data.

Total Dealership Website Traffic During COVID-19

Week 9 saw the largest increase in traffic to dealers' websites since the covid crisis began. Daily traffic to dealers' websites was down consistently in weeks 1-4, usually seeing a spike in traffic as the weekend approach. With week 5, that website traffic was up consistently, with the exception of flat growth on Monday. In weeks 6 through 9, we see website traffic consistently beating pre-covid levels each day of the week.

As less people are able to visit showrooms, they're making better use of the online tools available to them.

Key Takeaways for Dealers

Let’s be clear: No amount of digital growth can replace the lost foot traffic and in-store visits, and the subsequent hits to the bottom line.

However, a few key takeaways emerge:

  • It’s never been more important to improve, enhance & optimize your digital presence to extract the most value from it.

  • Focus on the digital solutions that drive the highest ROI for your team, whether that’s a chat solution, a trade-in tool, search engine marketing, or something else.

  • Roll out the red carpet for every in-bound lead.

  • Reinforce positive messaging about any “at home” services that you offer, at every touch point possible. If they can’t come to you, come to them.

  • For your trade-in solutions, make sure their valuation methodology can quickly adapt to market forces, which will see declining prices. We’ll post more about our approach to valuation methodologies soon.

Is your data showing you something different? Email us at sales@tradepending.com. We’d love to hear from you.

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