To conclude our 3-part series on how farmers shop online, we’ll look at research demonstrating that while most of the equipment research process has moved online–particularly to third-party listing sites–the dealership remains the point of sale.
This insight shines through with the study conducted by Transparency (a data analytics firm) and Ronnie Thompson Ford in East Elijay, GA. Again, we reference relevant studies in the automotive industry and apply the learnings to our industry.
Heath Thompson, the general manager of Ronnie Thompson Ford in rural Georgia was about to stop advertising on Autotrader (a third-party auto listing site) and cut back on digital spending altogether when the company, hoping to retain the business, offered to do an attribution study to show Autotrader’s influence. The results were eye-opening for Thompson, who learned 63% of his dealership’s customers had visited Autotrader, before purchasing a vehicle without any communication prior to walking into the store.
Transparency, which did the study for Autotrader, examined the stores dealership management system and other data between May 1 and August 31. The study revealed 63% of the dealership’s customers during that time span had visited Autotrader before purchasing a vehicle1. These customers had not called the dealership nor sent an email lead prior to walking in and purchasing a vehicle after doing research Autotrader.
The study attributed 41 sales to Autotrader1. The findings were astonishing for Thompson, who realized he could attribute 30% of his monthly gross sales to visitors of Autotrader. He couldn’t believe so many of his clients were shopping online before coming to the showroom. “I would’ve called somebody a liar if they tried to tell me 63 percent of my customers shopped online before they showed up to my dealership.” Thompson said. At the time of the study, a quarter of the customers at his rural store didn’t have email. Read the full article here.
1 Firm Checks 3rd party success rate