In June we saw the market bounce back quickly with pre-sale lead, test drive activity returning to levels comparable to pre Covid-19 levels. Although June was such a strong month for many dealers across the market, it was of course due to the market returning to normal levels after the trials of shutting down during Level 3 & 4. The strong performance continued in July with just a small drop off from June to July. Overall Lead volume was down 4.6% from June, Test Drives decreased by 4% and sales decreased by 4.5%.
Leads - Down 4.6%
Test Drives - Down 4.0%
Sales - Down 4.5%
After seeing leads experience a significant "dead cat bounce" in June, July saw a slight dip across all sources electronic to f-2-f. Leads from classified listings websites were fairly static - dropping just 0.2% from June and remaining a great way to reach a wide range of customers in the used space. Dealership leads decreased by 2.2% and brand generated leads dropped by 6.7% from June to July 2020.
Web - Classified - Down 0.2%
Web - Dealer - Down 2.2%
Brand - Down 6.7%
Test Drive activity remains strong with Saturday by far the most common day for Test Drives. Although Test Drives decreased overall by 4%, the top 3 sources of Test Drives actually increased with Test Drives from 'Web - Classified' leads increasing by 2.9%, 'Web - Dealer' attributed Test Drives increasing by 3.3% and 'Direct' Test Drives staying strong with a 0.1% increase from June.
Web - Classified - Up 2.9%
Web - Dealer - Up 3.3%
Direct - Up 0.1%
After such a strong month in June, AutoPlay customers saw a small drop in sales recorded in AutoPlay in July. Sales attributed to the 'Web - Classified' sources decreased by 6.9%, whilst sales from 'Web - Dealer' channels dropped by 4.1% and 'Repeat' customers dropped by 6.2%.
Web - Classified - Down 6.9%
Web - Dealer - Down 4.1%
Repeat - Down 6.2%
A full 2 months after Covid-19 activity in dealership land still remains strong. With the end of the wage subsidy it's anticipated we'll be seeing a tough few months to close out 2020. AutoPlay will continue to bring you all the latest market stats (good or bad) - make sure you check back next month.
In the last edition of Autotalk we shared some market stats on the recovery in the NZ market – comparing the first 20 days of May to the first 20 days of June 2020. Understandably with May just the beginning of the recovery we saw some significant improvement over the first 20 days of each month.
Now that June is complete, we are seeing a much less significant increase in Leads, Test Drives and Sales as activity has quickly rebounded to pre COVID-19 levels, and then flattened out. That said the last 10 days of June continued to be positive for kiwi dealers and we saw a increase of 22.4% in the volume of Leads, Test Drives increased by 42.5% and Sales increase by 38.6%.
Leads - Up 22.4%
Test Drives - Up 42.5%
Sales - Up 38.6%
As with the first 20 days of June, leads from the ‘Brand’ source continue to bounce back at a higher rate than online sources such as 3rd party listing sites and dealer websites. Leads from the ‘Brand’ source increased by 43.8% from the previous month, compared to an increase of 18.8% in ‘Web Classified’ leads and 10.1% for leads from the ‘Web – Dealer’ lead source. As we typically experience, despite the growth in the volume of leads provided by the dealers’ brand/OEM, leads from dealer and 3rd party sites still account for more than double the amount of brand generated leads.
Web - Classified - Up 18.8%
Web - Dealer - Up 10.1%
Brand - Up 43.8%
Test Drive activity remains strong with a 42.5% increase from May to June. Test Drives from ‘Web – Classified’ sources increased by 29.4% from the previous month and overtook ‘Web -Dealer’ (up 20.1%) as the top source of test drives for kiwi dealerships. Test Drives attributed to genuine walk-ins are often attributed to the ‘Direct’ source in AutoPlay and this source continued to increase – up 71.5% from the previous period.
Web - Classified - Up 29.4%
Web - Dealer - Up 20.1%
Direct - Up 71.6%
As with all other metrics Sales continued to bounce back in June with a 38.6% increase in from May amongst AutoPlay customers. Sales attributed to ‘Web – Classified’ sources increased by 27.0%, sales attributed to ‘Web – Classified’ sources increased by 27.4% and sales attributed to ‘Repeat’ customers increased by 49.4%.
Web - Classified - Up 27.0%
Web - Dealer - Up 27.4%
Repeat - Up 49.4%
As has been widely discussed June was a pretty successful month for a majority of dealerships. So far in July we have seen Lead, Test Drive and Sale activity remain pretty constant against June levels, with a slight lull recorded in the middle of the month.
Last month AutoPlay shared some pretty crazy stats showing the increase in Lead, Test Drive and Sales activity from April to May 2020. Given the almost complete shutdown of the market in April it was not surprising to see increases in the volume of Leads, Test Drives and Sales anywhere from 200% to 800%.
This month we are looking at the first 20 days of June vs the first 20 days of May. So far this month June is running fairly close to pre COVID-19 levels. Compared to May, Leads are up 43.0%, Test Drives up 95.7% and Sales up 64.6% MTD.
TOTAL ACTIVITY KPI - June 1st to 20th 2020 (vs May 1st to 20th 2020)
Leads - Up 43.0%
Test Drives - Up 95.7%
Sales - Up 64.6%
Leads from the ‘Brand’ source continue to bounce back at a higher rate than online sources such as 3rd party listing sites and dealer websites which continued to generate low volumes of leads even during the Level 3 & 4 shutdowns. Leads from the ‘Brand’ source increased by 95.3% from the previous period in May, but still account for approximately a third of the number of leads generated by ‘Web Classified’ (up 33.4%) and ‘Web – Dealer’ (up 21.9%) lead sources. Interestingly there is a small trend showing that the types of vehicles being enquired on are trending towards lower price ranges than during the pre COVID-19 period.
TOP 3 SOURCES OF LEADS - June 1st to 20th 2020 (vs May 1st to 20th 2020)
Web - Classified - Up 33.4%
Web - Dealer - Up 21.9%
Brand - Up 95.3%
Test Drives were one of the biggest KPI’s to bounce back in May and June (alongside Appraisals) – increasing by 95.7%. Test Drives from ‘Web – Classified’ sources increased by 60.6% from 1st-20th May vs 1st-20th June, and overtook ‘Web -Dealer’ (up 48.6%) as the top source of test drives for kiwi dealerships. Test Drives attributed to genuine walk-ins are often attributed to the ‘Direct’ source in AutoPlay and this source continued to increase – up 180% from the previous period.
TOP 3 SOURCES OF TEST DRIVES - June 1st to 20th 2020 (vs May 1st to 20th 2020)
Web - Classified - Up 60.6%
Web - Dealer - Up 48.6%
Direct - Up 180%
As with all other metrics Sales continued to bounce back in June with a 64.6% increase in June 1st-20th from the same period in May. Sales attributed to ‘Web – Classified’ sources increased by 42.0%, sales attributed to ‘Web – Classified’ sources increased by 36.7% and sales attributed to ‘Repeat’ customers increased by 62.8%.
TOP 3 SOURCES OF SALES - June 1st to 20th 2020 (vs May 1st to 20th 2020)
Web - Classified - Up 42.0%
Web - Dealer - Up 36.7%
Repeat - Up 62.8%
Overall, we are seeing a strong bounce back in activity across the majority of customers using the AutoPlay Sales Pipeline to manage their leads (approx. 80% of franchise dealership by volume). As we know, the challenge will be to sustain this level of activity in what will surely be a challenging market for the remainder of 2020. Make sure to check back for more regular updates from AutoPlay on pre-sale lead activity throughout NZ.
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.
AutoPlay Sales Pipeline is a pre-sales lead management tool designed for dealerships, dealer groups and automakers