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Autobytel Leverages Polk Data To Provide Measurable Results

Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL), the company dedicated to helping car dealers and consumers connect online, will be demonstrating the effectiveness of its alliance with R. L. Polk & Co. at the 2013 NADA show in Orlando, Florida. Over the past year, Autobytel has been working closely with Polk to arm its clients with solid data on how consumers research vehicles and to understand their cross-shopping behaviors. The Polk data is another addition to the suite of products that Autobytel offers its dealers and OEM partners to better enable them to connect with in-market car buyers. Polk matches state vehicle registration data with leads and provides lead conversion reporting on a monthly basis for Autobytel to review with its dealer partners.

“The conversion data from Polk has proved to be beneficial to us internally as well as for our clients,” shared Autobytel Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey H. Coats. “By analyzing consumer behavior, we are able to better manage and focus our internal lead generation activities. Autobytel dealers and OEM partners benefit not only from our actions, but also by analyzing the data themselves and making changes to their processes.”

For Autobytel dealers and automotive manufacturer customers, the Polk insights provide credible data to show new car lead conversion performance and quantify their investment in Autobytel leads. Autobytel currently generates 60-70% of its lead volume internally. Findings from the Polk data suggest that Autobytel internally generated leads close at over twice the industry average derived from the data. In fact, based on the most current Polk data, over 27% of consumers who submitted a lead on Autobytel.com purchased a vehicle within 90 days.

By reporting the buying behavior of potential new car buyers, the findings also can help shape improvements to online lead management, online advertising and dealership sales process training .

Some key analysis from the Polk data include:
  • Consumers are not always brand-loyal
    • Over 50% of consumers are switching makes as part of the lead submission and purchase process
  • Consumers consider both new and used vehicles during their buying process
    • 40% of consumers who submit a lead for a new vehicle end up purchasing a used vehicle
    • 25% of those who shop for a used vehicle end up purchasing a new vehicle

Coats shared, “What the Polk data reinforces is the importance for manufacturers to cross-market to both new and used customers on third party automotive sites like Autobytel.com. The reporting clearly shows that consumers are looking at both.” He continued, “the reports also demonstrate the need for our dealers to reinforce the make decision and key selling points as part of the initial communication with a consumer in order to solidify the choice of make/model.”

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