COVID-19 is an unprecedented situation - there is no play book for times like these. At AutoPlay we've offered our dealership customers a fee-free period and we've been heartened to see many of the other companies in the Automotive space in NZ make similar offers. Like AutoPlay the team at Driven.co.nz are committed to helping dealerships make it through this tough time. Below is a short message from the team at Driven NZ regarding their plans for April 2020.
Given the recent developments regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), we at DRIVEN are adapting and reviewing how we can support our dealer network during this tough time. We are committed to working closely with you, to manage what is uncharted territory for us all.
As a result, we will be putting in place a charging holiday for our dealerships on all lead and/or subscription charges from midnight Wednesday 25 March until at least end of April 2020 at which point we will review based on the environment at this date.
Any leads received by dealerships during this time along with any monthly subscription charges for April will be completely free of charge. There is no need to activate this, the charging holiday will be automatically applied to all DRIVEN.co.nz lead generation customers.
Rest assured we will be doing everything we can to support the local automotive industry over the coming months, keeping New Zealanders informed, with access to news and information they can trust.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our DRIVEN specialists will be in touch to arrange a phone or video meeting to discuss further.
* Note - AutoPlay don't intend this advice to conflict with any advice from the government on COVID-19 and social distancing rules. This article is only intended to help dealerships get through the shutdown and come out the other end with the tools required to get back onto their feet. Please follow the governments current rules and be safe!
With the recent news that NZ is entering COVID-19 Level 4 it means that the sales departments of dealerships nationwide have been required to be closed down for 4 weeks. What the full picture means for kiwi dealerships will become more clear over the coming weeks, but what is clear is that with no face-to-face customer contact there will be fewer leads coming into the dealership - even considering the potential for the general public to continue pre-purchase research online.
At AutoPlay we are keen to ensure that when the Level 4 Restrictions are lifted that your dealership is well equipped to hit the ground running in a post COVID-19 world. This means not only implementing an effective process for tracking and keeping leads in a holding pattern over the next 4 weeks, but also ensuring the dealership is equipped to deal with the public that may still be gun-shy about face-to-face contact.
What should I be doing now?
With the news having just dropped this week that NZ is effectively closed this week there are a number of things your dealership should be doing to make sure that you are set up for the next phase. If you haven't done this it's not too late!
1. Utilising Social Channels
Make sure to update your customers with what is happening at your dealership. Announcing this on Facebook is a nice, non invasive way of ensuring customers can stay up to date. This is a free activity that a dealership can do to engage with their target audience without requiring a sales team actively working.
2. Review Lead Management Settings
3. Review your Automatic Response templates?
It's very likely that during the shutdown period you won't have anywhere near a full team working - however that doesn't mean all your listing are pulled from being online and nor does it mean that customers won't continue to send email enquiries (though how much this occurs remains to be seen).
What can AutoPlay help with during the Lv4 restrictions?
Whilst the Level 4 restrictions are in place it's a definite that customers won't be coming into the dealership to view, test drive and purchase vehicles. However whats less clear is whether customers will still email the dealership to register interest or ask questions. If this happens you need to ensure you have a mechanism to manage these leads.
1. Send personalised videos with AutoPlay's Email Response Tool
AutoPlay has a built in video Email Response tool. If you can't be face to face with your customers then recording a personalised voice-over video can be the next best thing.
2. Communicate via SMS
3. Ensure you can track customer enquiry via Brochureware and the Wishlist Form
For the vast majority of dealerships in NZ getting stock to our little corner of the world will be challenging - whether it's brand new stock, or used imports.
What can AutoPlay help with once the restrictions are eased?
In an ideal world in 4 weeks the restrictions will lift and everyone can return to normality. However there is going to be fall out even after this happens (whenever that might be). Not only will the dealership be facing stock challenges but your sales team also will not have the cumulative pool of leads to manage. However you are not starting from scratch!
1. Audit your existing leads in AutoPlay
2. Re-prospect with Live Leads
It's likely when normality resumes you'll have a lot of cold leads that will need warming up again. When it's appropriate it might be worth using AutoPlay Live Leads to re-target these potential customers
3. In Market Leads
With cold leads and appraisals it might be tricky to work out which leads are worth contacting again once you finally do get more stock. In Market Leads looks at new listings and will automatically connect them to customers that might potentially be interested in the new stock
What if I still need my Sales Team to sometimes work remotely once the restrictions are eased?
We don't know what the future will hold. It's possible that even with an easing of the rules, there still might be restrictions impacting how your sales team can operate.
1. Work From Home Preparedness
Should we find an increasing reliance on working remotely whether it be through government restrictions or simply if the general public remains concerned about visiting too many places, it might change how we sell cars for much longer than we anticipated. In that scenario there are a number of things you can do to streamline these efforts.
Sales Person Items
2. Ability to conduct offsite Test Drive and Appraisals
Should the market dictate it we may find more customers wanting service away from a traditional dealership environment.
AutoPlay are working throughout the restrictions to make sure we can be there when you need us. If you want any assistance with any of the services AutoPlay can offer please contact email@example.com and we'll get one of our awesome customer experience team to get in touch.
By the time you read this article we will be well immersed in the COVID-19 restrictions implemented on 25/03/20 and remembering February fondly as the last month of relative normalcy in the market. (Watch this space over the coming weeks for more info on market conditions as we see them at AutoPlay)
After a strong month in January, we saw a slight drop in the qty of leads by 2.9%, however this was more a sign of the short month than any early COVID-19 effects on the market – the likes of which we didn’t start seeing until March 2020. February 2020 saw an increase of 6.7% in Test Drives and 3.3.% in sales as dealerships started working the large number of leads that came in during January.
After a massive increase in lead volume of 41% in January, leads from dealership websites (Web – Dealer) decreased by 23.1% in February. ‘Web – Classified’ also decreased by 4.1% but due to the significant decrease in dealer website leads was able to recapture the title as NZ’s most common source of leads. Although ‘Brand’ leads increased marginally by 0.7%, the significant drops in leads from websites resulted in the 2.9% decrease in lead volume experienced from January to February 2020.
Mainly due to the significant increase in leads from dealer websites in January, we saw Test Drives from these sources increase by 8.7% in February to become the most common source for Test Drives. Test Drives recorded as ‘Direct’ increased by 3.4% comparatively to fall to second place, and ‘Web Classified’ Test Drives fell slightly by 1.7% into third.
Overall Sales increased by 3.3% in February with a small increase of 0.7% for ‘Web – Classified’ sales and large increases of 15.4% for ‘Web – Dealer’ sales and an increase of 11.7% in sales attributed to ‘Repeat’ customers.
Make sure to check back next month to see the top sources of leads, test drives and sales in March 2020.
AutoPlayAuto.com has now been live since mid 2019 and the vast majority of AutoPlay dealers have now migrated over to the new system.
However there are still some AutoPlay users still using the iOS App and using the old Silverlight application via Internet Explorer on https://automotive.autoplay.co.nz/
At some point during 2020 AutoPlay will be turning off the old Silverlight application and reviewing the role of the iOS app. AutoPlayAuto.com works on tablets and phones as well as desktop PC's via Chrome, Safari Firefox and other HTML5 compliant browsers. This has rendered the iOS App and Silverlight systems obsolete as AutoPlayAuto.com will work on your iPad and iPhone.
We are no longer supporting the old applications and we are working through the steps necessary to shut these services down now that they have been replaced by https://www.autoplayauto.com. At this stage we do not have a firm deadline for when the old systems will be disabled but it is highly likely to be no later than June 2020.
AutoPlay run monthly releases and all of the new features such as Appraisal Splat Graphs, Appraisal group offers and more is only available in https://www.autoplayauto.com. If you are not using the new version you won't be able to take advantage of any new functionality. The new system is also considerably faster, and in addition it is likely you may experience issues running the old Silverlight or iOS Apps.
For these reasons it makes a lot of sense to migrate now*. All that is required is Chrome or Firefox (on Desktop), Safari (on iOS) or Chrome (on Android).
Deadline: June 2020
Action Required: Switch over to use https://www.autoplayauto.com
* Note - if you are a Toyota New Zealand dealership you will notice "My Leads" is no longer visible. In https://www.autoplayauto.com the "My Leads" screen has been replaced by the Sales Pipeline. There is a little more set up involved with Sales Pipeline so if you have any questions please contact Support on firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy New Year to everyone! With 2020 now upon us it’s time to look back upon the last month of 2019 and review the top sources of leads, test drives and sales in December last year. December is traditionally a quiet month for dealerships - a naturally lower volume of activity, coupled with the fact that it can be harder to retain lead management discipline when you’d rather be at the beach – often results in sizeable decreases in the volume of leads, test drives and sales.
December 2019 was no different with leads decreasing by 13.4% from November to December 2019, test drives decreasing even further by 22.3% and sales falling off slightly by 7.8%. With the decreased volume of leads and test drives in December it will be interesting to see the flow on effect on January performance – already a quiet month with many people still on holiday.
With leads decreasing by 13.4% month-to-month the tops sources of leads decreased across the board. Interestingly this was more evident for dealership websites with the volume of leads dropping by 16.8% for the ‘Web – Dealer’ source and only decreasing by 6.6% for the ‘Web – Classified’ source. This suggests that whilst dealer websites are very competitive with the likes of Trade Me and Driven over the course of the year, these classified websites do a better job of retaining eyeballs over the xmas and new year’s period.
This was mirrored to a lesser extent with the volume of test drives in December 2019. Test drives attributed to ‘Web – Classified’ sources decreased by 12.3%, compared to a 18.3% decrease for test drives attributed to ‘Web – Dealer’ sources. Interestingly test drives recorded against the ‘Direct’ source decreased by only 6.1% vs the total average decrease in test drives of 22.3% - meaning either there was still a steady stream of true “walk in” test drives, or dealers did not push these customers as much to identify the true reason they came into the dealership for a test drive.
Sales decreased overall by 7.8% from November 2019 to December 2019, however several of the top sources of sales experienced even greater drops – meaning some of the lesser recorded sources of sales were not as affected by the holiday period. Sales from the ‘Web – Classified’ source decreased by 10.7% in December 2019, whilst ‘Web – Dealer’ sales only decreased by 5.5%. Whether this means anything significant when contrasted by the larger than average drop in ‘Web -Dealer’ leads and test drives remains to be seen – it may be too soon to see the full flow on effect of these decreases.
From everyone here at AutoPlay we’d like to wish every dealer a successful 2020 and hope you all embrace effective lead management practices in 2020 (we can help with that!). Make sure to check back next month to see the top sources of leads, test drives and sales in January 2020.
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Select your preferred DRIVEN lead generation package, and as a thank you from the DRIVEN team, you’re in the draw to WIN a $15,000 NZME advertising campaign for your dealership.*
Check out the packages below and choose the one which is best for you.
Standard Lead Generation is available as Driven's fixed rate package, all you’ll pay is a small monthly subscription, up to 80% cheaper than what you'll pay elsewhere. This covers having your listings promoted to Driven's motoring audience of 133k monthly** and unlimited email enquiries.
Enhanced Lead Generation package is Driven's performance based pay per lead model for dealers who want to accelerate their growth faster. This package gives you access to the full dealer toolkit of lead generation options.
Furthermore, Christmas has come early, you won’t pay anything until 2020 - with extended free access right until the end of the year.
Contact Driven via email@example.com to have one of the DRIVEN Specialists get in touch with further information.
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It's that time of year again...Santa's loading up his sleigh, the reindeer's are stretching and AutoPlay are prepping for the end of year rush.
Christmas is typically a busy time for AutoPlay so if you are looking for some help sending a christmas/new years email to your customers please make sure to give us as much advance notice. We may be unable to get your email out on time if we are given less than 10 working days as notice - so get your request in nice and early to make sure you don't miss out.
Over the Christmas and New Years period AutoPlay NZ will be closed from Friday 20th December through to January 6th. The full schedule is below;
If you have any questions please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
After decreasing from August to September, the volume of Leads and Test Drives bounced back – increasing by 3.4% and 2.0% respectively. However, after increasing by 3.9% the previous month, the period of September to October saw Sales decrease by 9.4% - continuing the up and down trends we’ve seen across kiwi dealers all year.
Much of the increase in Leads can be attributed to an increase in the number of leads attributed to the ‘Brand’ lead source – which increased by 37.2% from September to October. This caused it to become the second most common source of leads in NZ – leaping ahead of the ‘Web-Dealer’ source for the first time in recent memory (which decreased by 1.3%).
‘Web – Classified’ remains the most common source of Leads in NZ and increased by 1.2% from last month. Similarly the ‘Direct’ source still accounts for the second most Test Drives generated in October – despite decreasing by 3.9%. The ‘Web – Dealer’ source accounted for the third most Test Drives and increased by 1.7% from September to October.
With Sales decreasing by 9.4% it’s unsurprising that we saw decreases in the volume of Sales attributed against each of the top 3 sources of Sales. ‘Web – Classified decreased by 11.’2%, ‘Repeat’ dropped by just 1.1% and sales from the ‘Web – Dealer’ source dropped by 11.9% - resulting in dealer website leads falling to become the third most common source attributed to sales in NZ.
Make sure to check back next month to see the top Sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales in November 2019
Over the last few months we’ve seen numerous ups and downs and September was no different. After increasing by 2.6% from July to August, the overall number of Leads decreased by 3.9%, whilst Test Drives decreased by 2.5% from August to September. Likely due to the increase in leads in August, we saw an increase of 3.9% Sales from August to September.
‘Web – Classified’ remained the most common source of leads in NZ, but after increasing by 4.7% the previous month, leads from this source dropped by 5.2% in September. ‘Web – Dealer’ leads from dealership websites also decreased – by 2.8% from August. After increasing by almost 10% in August, we saw ‘Brand’ leads dropping by 13.1%.
September 2019 saw Test Drives from ‘Web – Classified’ decrease by 1.7% from the previous month. After being the second most common source of Test Drives for the last 12 months, September saw ‘Web – Dealer’ drop by 17.3% - leapfrogged into second place by test drives attributed to the ‘Direct’ sources. Whilst this generally indicates walk-in Test Drives, this can be a negative as it can be used instead of attributing Test Drives to the real source.
With Sales increasing by 3.9% we also saw Sales attributed to the ‘Web – Classified’ source increase by 2.8%. Despite the overall increase in Sales, those attributed to ‘Web – Dealer’ dropped by 9.4% and ‘Repeat’ dropped by 1.1% from August to September 2019.
Make sure to check back next month to see the top Sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales in October 2019.
The market performance in 2019 to date has been up and down, and July was no different. After increasing by 3.3% from May to June, the volume of leads captured by kiwi dealers decreased by 3.2% from June to July 2019. Test Drives fell again with 4.6% fewer Test Drives loaded across the 80% of franchise dealers using AutoPlay in July. Sales bounced back in July with 12.9% more Sales being logged among AutoPlay dealers in July.
Unlike most sources, leads from ‘Web -Classified’ sources increased by 5.4% from June to July. July also saw ‘Web – Dealer’ reclaim the second most popular source of leads despite decreasing by 1.9% from month-to-month. This is because leads from the ‘Brand’ source decreasing by a massive 69.1% from June to July. This is not unexpected as every June in NZ we see brands accounting for a large amount of leads due to the marketing and sales activities around Fieldays.
In July ‘Web Classified’ was the most common source of Test Drives but fell by 9.4%. Test Drives arising from ‘Web – Dealer’ leads increased by 2.1% and Test Drives from ‘Direct’ leads decreased by 2.0% from June to July.
After a sizeable drop in Sales in June, Sales across the board increased in July 2019 (by 12.9%). This was primarily due to a significant uptick in conversion to Sales on ‘Web – Classified’ leads – increasing by 23.2% from June to July. Sales from ‘Web – Dealer’ source also increased by 5.5% resulting in a great month of Sales from online sources. Sales from ‘Repeat’ customers decreased slightly (-0.1%) but still remained the 3rd most prevalent source of leads in July.
Make sure to check back in August to see the top Sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales in August 2019.
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers