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Can you sell used cars on Facebook Marketplace?

Can You Sell Cars on Facebook?

Since Facebook has exploded, businesses have all rushed to capture their audience’s attention and leverage the platform’s marketing potential. In the beginning, gaining business exposure on Facebook’s platform was relatively inexpensive. As Facebook continued to modify its algorithm to appease its users and better monetize the platform when it went public, Facebook page organic reach plummeted to where it seems to currently offer organic reach to about 1-2 percent of any given page’s fans. Pay to play has been in effect for some time with the only ways for pages to extend reach being via Facebook ads or engaging content. That, however, hasn’t stopped some dealers from continuing to post vehicles for sale on their Facebook walls even at the risk of alienating their audience.

The question of the day is…

Do people really shop for cars on Facebook?

In the past, it’s fair to say that consumers who were using Facebook in their car shopping journey were probably researching dealerships. Some dealers had their inventories tied into their Facebook pages through a tab, but it was infinitely more convenient for a consumer to browse inventory through a dealership’s website or a third-party listing service than it was to visit prospective dealership’s Facebook pages one at a time.

That all changed with the rollout of Facebook Marketplace.

In the beginning, Facebook Marketplace was designed to be more of a virtual garage sale / classified feature available for users to buy and sell items locally. As it has evolved, however, it has become a much more robust marketplace. This, of course, has attracted Facebook users who are increasingly using the feature in their shopping. In the automotive world, industry vendors have begun automatically sending dealer’s inventory to Facebook Marketplace, and Facebook itself has struck deals with major third-party listing sites like Cars.com to have a dealer’s inventory published making it very convenient for car dealers to have updated inventories available for exposure to Facebook’s massive user base.

But, are consumers actually using Facebook Marketplace to shop for cars?

As a technology provider that facilitates conversations between consumers and dealerships in managed chat and also offers that feature within the Facebook platform, we can tell you that consumers are, in fact, engaging with dealerships about individual vehicles.

In Q2 of 2018 alone, 250 dealerships that use ActivEngage managed chat for Facebook via Messenger received 11,030 engagements from consumers originating from a VDP on Facebook Marketplace.

Marketplace Popular Vehicle Makes Marketplace Year Totals Chart

The table above illustrates that consumers are engaging with not only a wide spectrum of vehicle makes but also with a large span in vehicle age. These 11,030 consumer-initiated engagements encompassed a whopping 506 different model vehicles as well. This tells us that consumers of all types, budgets, needs, and interests are perusing Facebook Marketplace within their car buying journey.

Just as with any other consumer touch point, dealers need to be ready to engage with consumers, answer questions and start to build that relationship. Consumers only have so much time and patience, so failing to respond or engage the customer will only see that customer move on to the next vehicle or dealership — costing sales. On the opposite end of the engagement spectrum, dealers who are quick to respond, and are transparent and helpful have a higher chance of earning that customer’s business.

Food for Thought…

Consider that these figures only represent the data from consumers who chose to initiate contact with the dealership via chat. It’s safe to say that there are many more consumers browsing vehicles on Facebook Marketplace that did not engage but rather went into the dealership to see a vehicle of interest.

Facebook Marketplace is a valuable asset that dealers should be utilizing to gain exposure for their inventory. With inventory listings being automated through data providers that almost every dealership already uses in combination with Facebook’s third-party listing partnerships, Facebook’s Marketplace has morphed into a legitimate shopping destination for consumers in the market for a vehicle.

Want More Quality Leads? Start Talking About Finance in Chat

“Stop wasting so much time on leads that won’t close!”

Sound familiar? If you’ve ever screamed internally when you watch your BDC repeatedly follow up with crappy leads, it’s because you know that the quality of your leads determines the quality of your showroom traffic—and if this month’s sales quota will be met.

With today’s shoppers visiting less than 2 dealerships before making a purchase, your digital marketing strategy needs to be optimized for quality lead conversion. But how does your team discern high-funnel leads from ready-to-buy shoppers?

Offering to pre-screen shoppers during chat conversations can help your team close opportunities that are ripe for the picking. But before I explain how, let’s clarify what makes a QUALITY chat lead.

PSA: All Chat Leads are Not the Same

Yes, you can have chat leads with only a first name and email address. But you can also get quality leads from chat—and it’s easy for your team to tell the difference. Quality chat leads have rich customer information, like:

  • First and last name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Possible trade-in
  • Purchase intent and timeframe

…and other good-to-know information. Now that we’ve established that you can have good and better leads from chat, I will see your quality chat lead and raise you an enhanced chat lead.

Pre-Screen + Chat = Enhanced Lead

Imagine never hearing the words “I’m just browsing” again. When you pre-screen online shoppers in chat, you drive more qualified car buyers to your dealership.

Recently, ActivEngage partnered with 700Credit to offer an innovative approach to soft credit pulls: QualiFi. With just a name, email, and home address, our team can facilitate pre-screens through one of our credit service partners and drive more prequalified customers to your store. And our data shows it’s exactly what your customers want.

In a pilot with Sloane Automotive, over 70% of shoppers who converted into a lead agreed to a pre-screen.

These enhanced ActivEngage leads included live FICO scores and auto tradeline information, which is a game-changer for internet leads. Why? Because our expert chat team can have finance conversations through multiple channels, like Facebook Messenger, Craigslist, Google search results, and SMS text. Wherever your customers are looking for cars, we’re there to empower them to buy from you.

Check out a short clip of QualiFi in action below:

Why YOUR Sales Team Will Love Enhanced Leads

Your team benefits the most when you pre-screen shoppers before they set foot in your dealership. It allows your sales team to filter through leads, and work the opportunities with the highest ability to close first (enhanced leads)—which stops them from spending time on every lead hoping everyone they talk to is financially able to buy a car.

Additionally, you could create lead scores based on the financial information received. Dealerships with high lead volumes can use lead scoring to easily prioritize leads and increase lead follow-up efficiency. With this rating system, your sales team can know what vehicles to match to a person before they step foot into the dealership.

Here’s an example: Erica is looking for a 2018 Corolla. But your enhanced chat lead shows her FICO score, and she’s financially able to buy or lease an Avalon. We also know she has always wanted a moonroof from the transcript of the conversation. Your salesperson can have a list of potential vehicles ready to show Erica — and use the rapport from the transcript to close.

Finance Conversations…for Service Customers?

Have you considered what this can do for your Service-to-Sale process? When service customers are coming up on the end of their warranties, chat can help open them up to the possibilities of buying a new car from you.

For example, because ActivEngage integrates with major service scheduling platforms, our team can set appointments in chat (and other channels). With the right customer, we can suggest getting them into a newer car by offering a no-hassle, soft credit pull.

Closing the loop on the customer lifecycle in the aftermarket stage is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. Neither does separating okay leads from enhanced leads that get your team excited to sell and boost your ROI. Chat, and specifically chat about finance can turn automotive shoppers into buyers, and buyers into lifetime customers.

Want more qualified car buyers on your lot? Fuller service bays? More ROI from your marketing spend? We can help. Chat with us!

ActivEngage Launches Finance Tools for Car Dealerships

ActivEngage Integrates with 700Credit Finance Tools

Exciting news here at ActivEngage! We’ve integrated with 700Credit finance tools to offer car dealers even better leads from live chat. The new online finance tools in our digital communications suite will change the game for the automotive industry. Here’s why:

The Power of Finance Conversations in Chat

Your customers are NOT satisfied with the tedious car buying process at the dealership — particularly the finance part. According to a recent Autotrader study, new car buyer satisfaction declined from 82% to 69% when interactions with the F&I department were factored in. Of the 3-hours customers spend at the dealer buying a car, they spend over half of it doing paperwork.

A slow process just won’t cut it anymore. Consumers want faster, more comfortable experiences in the buying journey. That’s why they increasingly depend on the Internet and their smartphones to give them answers. It’s why more and more car buyers click to chat.

By offering chat for finance, you empower online shoppers with information and give them the confidence to take the next step. Having finance-related conversations in chat will ultimately drive more qualified shoppers to the dealership. As a result, dealers will close more sales faster at their store.

The Integration with 700Credit Online Finance Tools

At ActivEngage, we believe that people, not technology, sell cars. That’s why we designed our platform to help dealers connect with in-market buyers wherever they’re looking at cars. Naturally, we added cutting-edge 700Credit tools to strengthen these interactions and give both dealers and consumer what they want: a better car buying process.

700Credit online finance tools

With the new integration, we can help automotive businesses:

  • Get more test drive appointments from chat
  • Receive enhanced customer information (i.e., FICO score)
  • Offer customers relevant inventory options at the dealership
  • Streamline paperwork in the F&I process
  • Make the car buying process faster

Transform the Car Buying Process at Your Dealership

Like you, we’re excited about the future of the car business and the role technology will play in it. As the authority in automotive live chat, we look forward to diving deeper into the world of F&I and leading the way in how your shoppers will buy cars. Stay tuned because we have more in store!

ActivEngage customers interested in offering 700Credit finance options in chat, please visit www.700credit.com/activengage. 

ActivEngage-CDK-Global-Launch-Concierge-Chat

ActivEngage and CDK Global Launch Concierge Chat on Next Gen Websites

We’re proud to announce that ActivEngage, Inc. and CDK Global have joined forces to launch Concierge Chat, an exclusive digital messaging tool built directly into CDK Next Gen websites.

CDK dealer customers will be able to leverage ActivEngage’s highly-trained, centrally-managed chat team to engage and convert more shoppers on the new, mobile-driven CDK platform. Some of the exclusive features in Concierge Chat include: inventory sharing, behavioral technology, Audience Intent, and Connected Store, respectively.

We are excited to, in partnership with CDK Global, continue pushing the boundaries of digital communication as the consumer experience and digital retailing evolve in the automotive industry.

To read the entire story, please visit: http://www.nasdaq.com/press-release/cdk-global-partners-with-activengage-inc-to-roll-out-dynamic-retailing-platform-20170825-00555

 

 

 

 

ActivEngage and Dealersocket Partner for service appointments

ActivEngage, Inc. Partners with DealerSocket to Offer Omnichannel Service-Scheduling Options for Car Dealers

June 12, 2017 (Orlando, FL) – ActivEngage, Inc., the most trusted brand in automotive live chat, is proud to announce a new service scheduling integration with DealerSocket, the automotive retail industry’s leading integrated technology platform.

Under the new partnership, DealerSocket customers will now be able to leverage ActivEngage’s expertly-trained chat team to convert conversations into service appointments. Participating dealers will also benefit from increased productivity of parts and service departments, higher customer engagement across devices, streamlined communication to efficiently load the shop, and increased repair order volume.

This integration provides dealers a more effective way to streamline communication and increase repair order revenue while delivering an exceptional online experience to aftermarket shoppers.

On the partnership and how the unique service scheduling feature will impact dealers, Todd Smith, CEO of ActivEngage, said, “DealerSocket recognizes the power of giving online shoppers the opportunity to interact with dealers in real-time via messaging solutions like chat, text, or social media to set appointments. This relationship will allow our company improve the online consumer experience while creating better results for the dealer.”

 

About ActivEngage

Since 2007, ActivEngage has provided the most trusted automotive live chat software and managed chat service to automotive businesses around the world. ActivEngage employs professional Live Chat Specialists expertly trained to answer inquiries and generate additional sales and service opportunities. Additionally, with ActivEngage’s innovative web-based software, dealerships can build relationships with online customers and provide concierge-level customer service. ActivEngage has ranked five times as a Top Rated Chat Product Award Winner in the DrivingSales Dealer Satisfaction Awards and is a five-time Diamond Award Winner in the Dealers’ Choice Awards. Visit www.activengage.com for more information.

About DealerSocket

DealerSocket is a leading automotive technology platform that helps dealerships in the United States, Canada, and Australia improve profitability through a fully integrated suite of marketing, sales, service, customer experience, DMS, websites, data mining, and inventory management solutions. Headquartered in San Clemente, Calif., DealerSocket employs more than 1,000 people, and serves more than 10,000 dealerships and 300,000 active users in the United States, Canada, and Australia. DealerSocket’s advanced technology provides benchmarking data that paces the industry, and its insightful experts identify trends and develop strategic roadmaps that help dealers optimize processes and operate more profitably. Visit dealersocket.com for more information.

See You at Digital Dealer 22!

3 Big Reasons to Attend Digital Dealer 22

It’s spring season, and that means there’s no better place in the US to have an automotive conference than sunny Florida! Luckily for all of us in the industry, Digital Dealer 22 is coming up this April 11-13th in Tampa.

If for some bizarre reason you’re on the fence about attending DD22, allow us to tip the scales a bit by sharing 3 BIG reasons you need to buy these conference tickets right about now.

Why you should be at Digital Dealer 22:

1. The dealer camaraderie

It’s no secret that dealers are a competitive bunch.

However, conferences like Digital Dealer set the tone for dealers to put the rivalry aside, and connect with other professionals. In fact, competitors from around the country tend to offer some of the best insight regarding best practices and insider tips.

If you’ve never been to a Digital Dealer Conference, you’ll want to attend the Peer Strategy Roundtables. These peer-to-peer interactions provide the perfect opportunity to grow your dealership by sharing ideas with professionals from similarly sized dealerships from outside your market.

Events like this one show that collaboration is key and that we can help each other spark inspiration and uncover impactful ideas. There’s nothing like being in a room of like-minded people who are willing to take time away from the dealership to learn something new.

2. The decked-out booths

I know what you’re thinking. “If I’m paying to learn, you can find me at the sessions, not the vendor booths.” But, wait.

At the Digital Dealer Conference and Expo, you have the opportunity to discover and sample new technology like a buffet. You can learn about new tools you were unaware of with zero pressure to buy. Not to mention the industry providers attending make a habit of going ALL OUT on their booths. Everything from the layouts to the presentations, tchotchkes, and even contests are next-level.

Where else would you get the opportunity to demo the latest products and services from over 120 technology-focused automotive providers and get free stuff?

PS. ActivEngage will be at the Digital Dealer Exhibit Hall, and we have something special in store. We are transforming our booth into a BEER GARDEN, and you are invited.

Stop by Booth #716, grab an ice-cold beer, and tour our “Gala in the Garden”!

3. The speaking sessions

No dealer, no matter how successful, can know everything about everything.

That’s why attending the speaking sessions at a conference like Digital Dealer 22 is essential. You get to learn from some of the most talented, experienced automotive professionals who can give you inspiration, knowledge, and industry perspective you can take back to the dealership.

With over 100 educational sessions to choose from, YOU can build custom solutions for your dealership based on helpful advice and tips from top dealer executives, trainers, and consultants.

It’s no wonder why 90 of the top 100 dealerships in the US attend the Digital Dealer Conference every year.

Don’t miss a special speaking session by our very own CEO, Todd Smith, and David Kain of Kain Automotive. They’ll be showing attendees How to Build a Business Development Dealership:

See you there!

ActivEngage Wins 2017 Automotive Website Award!

We’re proud to announce that ActivEngage has won a 2017 Automotive Website Award in the Website Merchandising category. This year’s Automotive Website Awards took place during NADA, one of the largest automotive events of the year, January 28th.

The way consumers use technology to shop for cars is constantly evolving. As a result, the tools car dealers need to connect with and convert shoppers online are always changing. For that reason, PCG Companies hosts the annual Automotive Website Awards, which provide an in-depth review of automotive products and services.

Innovative Live Chat Services and Software

We were excited to be part of the Automotive Website Award review process and share our latest developments.

For over 10 years, ActivEngage has provided the most trusted automotive managed chat service and innovative software to automotive businesses around the world. During that time, we’ve continuously transformed the way our in-house chat team drives car sales by data mining millions of chat conversations. We’ve also enhanced our proprietary software and added new capabilities like SMS texting to meet the demands of modern shoppers.

Today, our expert team of Live Chat Specialists can have robust conversations with online shoppers via live chat, SMS, and even social media platforms. Our team’s ability to engage and convert shoppers across channels is proven to help dealers close sales faster and more effectively.

ActivEngage Relationships Breed Award-Winning Services

We are dedicated to enhancing communication across digital channels. That drive has allowed us to form various game-changing partnerships in the tech community. Last year, we joined forces with the likes of Facebook and Google to help dealers drive more social and mobile shoppers to the dealership. Through these partnerships, we pioneered revolutionary integrations, such as our Facebook Ad Messenger and Google Click-to-Message features.

We were able to pilot some of these features with another one of our partners, AutoNation, America’s largest automotive retailer.

“Since ActivEngage gained our account the conversion rates have almost doubled, and the response rates have been reduced by 3-5 seconds,” commented Famous Rhodes, VP of Digital Marketing & Consumer Experience at AutoNation.  He added, “Our ability to respond and serve a broader set of consumers has led to a lot of gains seen in 2016 in the digital channels.”

In an almost “everything comes full circle” way, our automotive relationships have helped us transform the way we are building and maintaining relationships with customers on behalf of car dealers.

The Pursuit of Innovation in 2017

Winning the 2017 Automotive Website Award reinforces our belief that human interaction is still one of the most important aspects of the car-buying process. Technology is the vessel that helps us bridge the gap between the online showroom and the brick-and-mortar dealership.

We are thrilled to be considered and recognized as a fellow pioneer among other forward-thinking vendors in the car business. 2016 was a particularly big year for innovation at ActivEngage, and 2017 is positioning itself to be even better.

Interested in partnering with ActivEngage? Chat with us now!

new activengage chat features

4 Ways ActivEngage is Taking Live Chat to New Heights in 2017

Happy New Year! For many months, we’ve been hard at work, looking for ways to transform digital communications between businesses and the customers they serve. And we’re proud to finally let the cat out of the bag and announce a series of new ActivEngage chat features that will help dealerships enhance and deepen conversations with consumers.

New Year, New ActivEngage Chat Features

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Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger Integration

Over 100 million people use Facebook in the US. And while you probably already have a Facebook business page, maybe even have some Facebook ads running, are you TRULY engaging your social audience? You finally can.

Thanks to our newest ActivEngage integration, connecting with car buyers in real-time via Facebook is easier than ever. With our new Facebook Messaging feature, you’ll be able to:

  • Increase your engagement opportunities by turning static ads into conversations
  • Leverage your social media footprint to set more appointments
  • Reach in-market audiences using Facebook’s targeting intelligence
  • Improve the effectiveness of your ads by learning which messages are winning with shoppers

Google Click-To-Message

SMS Google AdWords Integration

Do you currently invest in Google AdWords? If so, we have excellent news: one of our newest features allows serious shoppers that click on your pay-per-click ad to message your dealership in real-time via SMS! That means you can:

  • Launch ActivEngage SMS texting directly from Google search result pages
  • Leverage texting as another method of contact with today’s always-on shoppers
  • Engage more mobile shoppers with click-to-text technology
  • Convert text messages into appointments for your dealership
  • Get more out of your investment in Google AdWords campaigns

In-Chat Service Scheduling

Service Scheduling in chat

We are also proud to announce the roll-out of our new in-chat service scheduling feature! This new service offering will allow us to support your fixed operations performance and help your service advisors focus on in-drive customers and repair order value. Thanks to this new feature your dealership has the ability to:

  • Leverage an outside team to fill your service lanes
  • Rely on seasoned experts trained to build tickets and schedule future appointments
  • Streamline appointment logistics in real-time from your DMS
  • Reduce phone wait time for all service customers
  • Create a better customer experience and increase satisfaction scores
  • Maximize the productivity of your service team by letting them focus on what they do best!

ActivAlerts for Managers

ActivEngage manager tools

On average, 26% of ActivEngage chat and text appointments result in a sale — and we aim to increase that number and your bottom line in 2017 with ActivAlerts.

ActivAlerts is a free new feature included in the ActivEngage managed chat service that provides your management team with the details of each appointment made at your dealership. With ActivAlerts, your team can:

  • Immediately receive essential customer details for each appointment
  • Fill your showroom and get appointments delivered to your sales team
  • Know the needs of customers before they walk into your showroom
  • Create a higher quality customer experience

Take lead generation to the next level!

Want to learn more about our newest ActivEngage chat features and how you can leverage them to ramp up your sales opportunities in 2017? Send us a text or chat with us now!

ActivEngage and Mazda Partnership

ActivEngage Selected as Mazda Canada Partner for Live Chat

OEM Leverages Chat to Create Instant Connections with Online Shoppers

Orlando, FL. December 2016—ActivEngage, Inc., the most trusted brand in automotive live chat, announced today that it is now the exclusive provider of live chat services for Mazda Canada Inc.

Today’s car shoppers expect the highest level of service and information from Mazda Canada. In order to meet these expectations, Mazda Canada entrusted ActivEngage’s highly-trained team of Live Chat Specialists with the responsibility of representing the Mazda Canada brand and providing quality chat conversations that surpass the standards of its customer base.

Michael Tsang, Manager of Interactive Marketing at Mazda Canada, commented on the partnership, “We chose to incorporate live chat into our digital marketing strategy in order to keep pace with the rapid changes in consumer preferences and increased expectations online. After comparing multiple chat providers, the ActivEngage team has demonstrated that its live chat team is the best of its kind. We are confident in our decision to provide real-time communication for our customers and look forward engaging the online community on our website.”

On being selected to manage live chat on behalf of Mazda Canada, Ted Rubin, COO of ActivEngage, said, “We are excited to provide our managed chat solution to Mazda Canada. Mazda’s commitment to providing an exceptional online experience to its customers is impressive, and we are equally committed to helping Mazda Canada achieve even greater success.

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About Mazda Canada:
Mazda Canada Inc. is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer service and parts support of Mazda vehicles in Canada. Headquartered in Richmond Hill, Ontario, Mazda Canada has a nationwide network of 165 dealerships. For additional information about Mazda Canada visit: www.media.mazda.ca

About ActivEngage:
Since 2007, ActivEngage has provided the most trusted automotive live chat software and professionally managed chat service to dealerships, automotive groups and manufacturers around the world. With ActivEngage’s web-based software, dealerships can build relationships with their online customers and provide a concierge-level of customer service. ActivEngage also employs professional Live Chat Specialists in its Orlando and Las Vegas offices who are expertly trained to answer inquiries and generate additional sales opportunities on behalf of dealerships. To learn more about ActivEngage, please visit www.activengage.com.