Automotive Sales Attribution – Every Sale Has a Story

Automotive Sales Attribution - Every Sale Has a Story

Automotive Sales Attribution – how dealers understand which of their advertising partners and traffic sources are benefitting them the most. The quest for this understanding has led to a movement that on the surface appears to tout standards and transparency. But how can dealers trust a consortium of companies that in the end are the ones competing for their ad dollars?

Traditional website metrics don’t tell the sales story for dealers. Traditional conversion stats are equal for buyers vs. all traffic such as VDPs or page views. What this means is that on average, buyers converted at a lower rate than overall website traffic.

Looking solely at form submissions doesn’t give the best view of what advertising is driving sales. 98% of buyer traffic never submitted a form (or went to the hours and directions page). Therefore, hours and directions pageviews, and mobile clicks-to-call don’t either.

But these are typical website conversion metrics that dealers, vendors, and advertising agencies focus on. Since traditional web metrics don’t tell the story, there must be another way.

Automotive Sales Attribution Study

In a recent study, Experian Automotive set out to solve this dilemma. The 2018 Sales Attribution Study is a “wide-ranging, dealer-focused sales-driven attribution study to answer the question of what drives sales.” The study produced three key takeaways:

  1. Look at shopper behavior, not isolated KPIs
  2. Optimizing for Paid Search
  3. Evaluate third-party investments

New Metric – High Value Users

One result of the study was Experian’s discovery of how to identify website visitors that are most likely to buy in a short time period. These visitors are what Experian now refers to as High-Value Users, or HVUs.

HVUs are an Experian-derived KPI. What makes someone an HVU are four different measurements.

  • They must visit a website at least three times
  • Spend at least six minutes on the site in total
  • View at least eight pages in total
  • View at least one VDP

What Experian found is that while HVUs account for about 11% of all dealership website traffic, they are purchasing at a 34% higher rate than overall traffic.

How to Get More HVUs

Equipped with the ability to identify your website’s highest value users, dealers now have a new ability. The ability to determine which traffic sources and advertising partners are providing highest value users.

In other words, if you know where to get the highest value users, then you know where to consider increasing your ad budget. This is true automotive sales attribution.

About the Featured Podcast

The podcast featured in this post includes segments from a live panel discussion at Experian’s NADA booth in February 2018. The panel was moderated by Myself, and included the following panelists:

  • Amy Hughes, Experian Automotive
  • Scott Pechstein, Autoweb
  • Chris K Leslie, Auto Retail Digital Marketing Director
  • Paul Schnell, Auto Retail Digital Marketing Director
  • Ken Kolodziej, Experian Automotive

About the Author

Ryan Gerardi
Creative, resourceful, and resilient B2B sales and marketing technologist who works with people and businesses on a variety of levels to help elevate their game, their brand, and their businesses.
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