For the last few months we’ve been heavily affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. With lead volumes dropping to a fraction of normal rates we made the decision to take a break from our monthly publication of Lead Source stats for the NZ market.
At the time of writing this article it is now the end of May. Although Lead, Test Drive, Appraisal and Sales volumes are still below what they were in pre-COVID-19 times, we have seen a strong rebound of activity in the last 2 weeks of March to almost pre COVID-19 levels.
April 2020 was completely dead as dealerships were shut down during the Level 4 restrictions. Similarly, the first few weeks of April there was very little activity, with the real activity only commencing on the 28th of April – the first day of Level 3 restrictions. This flurry of activity continued throughout May as dealers found a way to generate leads. As NZ moved into Level 2 on the 14th of March we’ve found Test Drives and Sales have steadily grown.
Overall compared to April the contrast is staggering. Whilst at Level 4 there was almost no activity except limited website leads, May 2020 saw a 285.8% increase in the volume of Leads from the previous month – whilst Test Drives increased by 829.3% and Sales increased by 235.6%.
The top 3 sources of leads was unsurprising as the typical lead sources remained strong and online sources rebounded more quickly. The most common source of leads in May 2020 was ‘Web – Classified’ with 152.1% more leads generated than in April. ‘Web – Dealer’ was the second most common source of leads – increasing by 221.1%. Leads generated by the ‘Brand’ OEM group represented the third most common source of leads in May and increased by 893.8% as Brand Groups lurched back into life.
Test Drives were logically the most impacted by Level 3 & 4 shutdowns as evidenced by the massive increase in Test Drive volume as soon as dealers were able to safely do so. As with Leads, online sources remained strong as dealers converted some of those to Test Drives as soon as they were able. Test Drives from ‘Web – Dealer’ sources increased 664.2% whilst Test Drives from ‘Web – Classified’ sources like Trade Me, Driven and Autotrader increased by 756.3%. Test Drives attributed to ‘Direct’ sources were the third most common source of leads with a sizeable increase of 1187.7% from April to May – reflecting more customers potentially walking in without previously enquiring in late May as confidence in Level 2 restrictions grow.
During the Level 3 & 4 restrictions we still saw Sales being made as many canny operators were able to record forward orders during the shutdown. The top source for sales remains ‘Web – Classified’ sources with 298.9% more sales attributed to these sources in May than April. ‘Web – Dealer’ sales increased by 359.8% and sales to ‘Repeat’ customers increased by 81.2%.
Make sure to check back next month to see the top sources of leads, test drives and sales in June 2020.
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.
After a quiet December 2019, January saw a return to normalcy with Leads increasing by 17.6% and Test Drives increasing by 15.9% from December 2019 to January 2020 as dealers returned to work and the focus on generating leads was renewed. Despite these notable increases, January 2020 was still a quiet month for Sales with only a small 0.2% increase from month-to-month. With such increases in Leads and Test Drives it is highly likely that next month we will see a flow on effect to Sales despite the short calendar month in February.
A large reason for the jump in Leads from December to January was that ‘Web – Dealer’ leads increased massively by 41% - making leads from the dealer’s own website once again the most common source of leads. Leads from 3rd party sites also increased with ‘Web – Dealer’ leads increasing by 11% from December. ‘Brand’ leads remain the third most common source of leads for NZ franchise dealers and after decreasing by 26.4% in December, rebounded to increase by 24.7% in January.
With Test Drives increasing by 15.9% in January we saw increases across the board in Test Drive sources in January. In particular the ‘Direct’ source saw a significant increase of 23.4% - making it the most common source of Test Drives in January (up from 3rd in December). This seems to indicate that customers visited dealerships more often in January as ‘Web – Classifed’ (up 9.6%) and ‘Web – Dealer’ (up 16.5%) both increased by smaller margins.
Sales only increased by 0.2% in January, and this was mirrored by the top source of sales – ‘Web – Classified’ which also marginally increased (up 0.3%). Despite sales increasing overall from December, sales attributed to ‘Web – Dealer’ and ‘Repeat’ sources decreased significantly by 13.2% and 10.3% respectively. It will be interesting to watch this space in February to see if sales from this source rebound – something likely for ‘Web -Dealer’ leads which are now the most common source of leads in NZ.
Make sure to check back next month to see the top sources of leads, test drives and sales in February 2020
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.
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.
In July we saw the volume of leads captured in NZ decrease by 3.2% from June 2019. In August the number of leads rebounded to increase by 2.6% from month-to-month. Unfortunately, the increases did not continue across the other KPI’s we track with Test Drives decreasing by 0.3% and Sales decreasing by 10.2% from July to August 2019.
‘Web – Classified’ was again the most common source of Leads – increasing by 4.7% from July to August. ‘Web – Dealer’ remained the second most popular source of Leads in NZ but decreased by 3.4%. After a drop of almost 70% from June to July due to the end of Fieldays, the Brand source rebounded to increase by 9.9% in August.
In August ‘Web Classified’ was the most common source of Test Drives and increased by 5.1%. Test Drives arising from ‘Web – Dealer’ leads decreased by 11.5% and Test Drives from ‘Direct’ leads decreased by 4.3% from July to August.
After a strong Sales month according to AutoPlay stats for the month of July, August Sales were slightly down with Sales from ‘Web – Classified’ leads down 4.2%, ‘Web – Dealer’ down 6.8% and Sales from ‘Repeat’ sources down 1.2% from July to August 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.
After April was one of the worst performing months in recent memory, we experienced a bounce back in May 2019 with increases in the number of Leads, Test Drives and Sales recorded. We saw Leads increase by 14.2%, Test Drives by 17.4% and 8.0% increase in Sales from April 2019 to May 2019.
The top 3 sources of leads remain unchanged with ‘Web – Classified’ bouncing back from an 11.7% decrease from March to April, with a 10% increase from April to May 2019. Leads from the ‘Web – Dealer’ source increased by 6.7% and continued to be the second most common source of leads in May. As brands geared up for Fieldays in NZ we saw a number of pre-qualified leads for the event get pushed through to dealers in advance of Fieldays. This was reflected in an increase in leads from the ‘Brand’ source of 29.6% from April 2019 to May 2019.
Following the trend, we saw Test Drives increase by 17.4% April to May 2019. The most common source of Test Drives was again ‘Web – Dealer’ leads which increased by 12.4% month to month. After drops of more than 30% in April, Test Drives from ‘Web – Classified’ sources bounced up to second on the back of a 16.4% increase month to month. ‘Direct’ Test Drives also increased, but by a smaller margin (6.8%) – resulting in this source slipping to occupy the 3rd spot in Test Drive tracking.
As with Leads and Test Drives, we saw an increase in Sales. This played out as an 12.9% increase in Sales attributed to ‘Web - Classified’ sources, 3.5% increase in Sales from dealer websites (‘Web – Dealer’) and 5.6% increase in Sales attributed to ‘Repeat’ lead sources.
With Fieldays just completed in June, we expect to see a big increase in brand leads when we publish the June figures next month. Make sure to check The PlayBook next month for the top sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales in June 2019.
As winter sets in we’ve seen a noticeable drop in activity by NZ dealers across all the key kpi’s. April was one of the worst months in memory with Leads decreasing by 22.3%, Test Drives by 31.2% and Sales by 19.8%.
The top 3 sources of leads remain unchanged with ‘Web – Classified’ remaining the most common source of leads despite a 11.7% decrease from April 2019 (following a 15.2% increase from February to March). ‘Web – Dealer’ remains the second most common source of leads but also experienced a sizeable decrease with 11.5% fewer leads being attributed to this source than the previous month. ‘Brand’ remains in the third spot and although there were 5.9% fewer leads from this source in April as there was in May, this represents a less significant drop than recorded from other lead sources.
As with Leads, we saw a sizable decrease in the number of Test Drives recorded in April with 31.2% less Test Drives recorded in April than there were in March. This trend was visible across all the Lead Sources with Test Drives from ‘Web – Dealer’ decreasing by 16.3%, ‘Direct’ Test Drives falling by 40.6% and Test Drives generated from ‘Web – Dealer’ leads decreasing by 32.4%.
As with Leads and Test Drives, we saw a decrease in Sales (19.8% decrease from March 2019). This played out as an 11.6% decrease in Sales attributed to dealer websites (‘Web – Dealer’), 12.6% fewer Sales attributed to ‘Web - Classified’ leads and 15.2% fewer Sales attributed to ‘Repeat’ leads sources.
With Fieldays just around the horizon in June dealers across NZ will be hoping for a bounce back in Leads, Test Drives and Sales in the coming months. As always make sure to check back next month for the top sources of Leads, Test Drives and Sales in May 2019.