NEW YORK, Oct. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- LivePerson, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPSN), a leading provider of conversational commerce solutions, today announced the acquisition of AdvantageTec, a leading provider of texting solutions for service departments of automotive dealerships. The addition of AdvantageTec to Contact At Once!, LivePerson's automotive company, helps enable conversational commerce across the entire dealership, including variable and fixed operations.
"Through the power of unique technologies from LivePerson, Contact At Once!, and AdvantageTec, dealerships can engage in conversational commerce across their entire business," said Robert LoCascio, CEO and founder of LivePerson. "People have shown a distinct preference for messaging as they shop, buy, and communicate with brands. With conversational commerce, the process of servicing cars becomes as simple as a few taps in the messaging channels they're already using."
The AdvantageTec messaging platform is designed for the unique needs of dealership service departments. The product integrates with most dealer management systems to automate service appointment scheduling and reminders, while making it simple and fast to share information and get approvals from customers through messaging. Dealers can also automate delivery and completion of customer satisfaction index (CSI) questionnaires and enable online payments all through a single, simple interface. The solution is compliant with texting privacy regulations and includes appropriate opt-ins for text messaging through written approvals in service orders.
Dealerships already using AdvantageTec value its ability to help them increase revenue, improve productivity, and improve CSIs, while service advisors can be more efficient. All conversations are documented for easy tracking.
Andy Costell, General Manager of BMW of San Rafael who is a Contact At Once! and AdvantageTec customer, points out that consumers really like the experience too. "Our customers are very happy to get updates, schedule appointments, approve repair orders, and even pay—all through a messaging conversation," says Costell. "CAO! Connect helps us create more conversations with shoppers from the moment they start looking, and AdvantageTec helps us turn those car buyers into lifelong customers."
As new car sales remain flat and margins compress, dealership executives have been turning to fixed operations for additional revenue generation and profitability. According to the July 2018National Automobile Dealers Association Average Dealership Profile, almost half (49.3 percent) of the average dealership's gross profit came from fixed operations. "Traditionally, dealerships have invested in 'front of the house' technologies that help them sell cars," says Thomas Jung, founder and CEO of AdvantageTec. "Now, we see that great service experiences can be one of the best ways to drive profitability for the whole dealership. We are very excited to join LivePerson and Contact At Once! and hope to rapidly expand the use of conversational commerce in dealership service departments."
The service department may also be emerging as a valuable source for new car leads. According to the September 2018 Cox Automotive Service Industry Study, 74 percent of customers who visited the dealership in the last 12 months for service are likely to return to purchase their next vehicle, compared to only 35 percent of customers who did not visit for service. "This industry always has and always will be about relationships," says Denise Chudy, General Manager of Contact At Once!
LivePerson began to invest in the automotive industry four years ago with its acquisition of Contact At Once! and continues to build momentum globally with innovative solutions for manufacturers, dealers, and advertising platforms. "The combination of the unique capabilities of LiveEngage, CAO! Connect, and AdvantageTec — with AI and connections through channels such as SMS, Facebook Messenger, Google Rich Business Messaging, and other popular messaging apps — creates the most sophisticated, widely deployed, highly scaled, secure and technologically advanced messaging platform available for the automotive industry," Chudy says. "Simply put, we're on a mission to help the automotive industry take the pain out of buying and servicing a car."
Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on LivePerson's results of operations for the full year ending Dec. 31, 2018.
About LivePerson, Inc. LivePerson makes life easier by transforming how people communicate with brands. Our 18,000 customers, including leading brands like Citibank, HSBC, Orange and The Home Depot, use our conversational commerce solutions to orchestrate humans and AI, at scale, and create a convenient, deeply personal relationship — a conversational relationship — with their millions of consumers. For more information about LivePerson (NASDAQ: LPSN), please visit www.liveperson.com.
About Contact at Once! Contact At Once!, a LivePerson Company, helps create satisfying connections and build relationships between auto shoppers and dealers by making it easier for consumers to ask questions and get information in the micro-moments when they shop—whether on a brand or retailer site, via online advertising, on social media and more. Contact At Once! is the industry's leading provider of messaging platforms with over 17,000 businesses using our solutions to build relationships with online, mobile shoppers. For more information, visit www.contactatonce.com.
Safe Harbor Provision Statements in this press release regarding LivePerson that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual future events or results to differ materially from such statements. Any such forward-looking statements, including but not limited to financial guidance, are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. It is routine for our internal projections and expectations to change as the quarter and year progress, and therefore it should be clearly understood that the internal projections and beliefs upon which we base our expectations may change. Although these expectations may change, we are under no obligation to inform you if they do. Actual events or results may differ materially from those contained in the projections or forward-looking statements. Some of the factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein include, without limitation: potential fluctuations in our quarterly revenue and operating results; competition in the market for digital engagement technology; our ability to retain existing clients and attract new clients; potential adverse impact due to foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; privacy concerns relating to the Internet that could result in new legislation or negative public perception; risks related to new regulatory or other legal requirements that could materially impact our business; our ability to effectively operate on mobile devices; failures or security breaches in our services, those of our third party providers, or in the websites of our customers; risks related to industry-specific regulation and unfavorable industry-specific laws, regulations or interpretive positions; the adverse effect that the global economic downturn may have on our business and results of operations; economic conditions and regulatory changes caused by the United Kingdom's likely exit from the European Union; our ability to retain key personnel, attract new personnel and to manage staff attrition; risks related to the ability to successfully integrate past or potential future acquisitions; additional regulatory requirements, tax liabilities, currency exchange rate fluctuations and other risks as we expand internationally and/or as we expand into direct-to-consumer services; risks related to the regulation or possible misappropriation of personal information belonging to our customers' Internet users; potential failure to meeting service level commitments to certain customers; risks related to protecting our intellectual property rights or potential infringement of the intellectual property rights of third parties; legal liability and/or negative publicity for the services provided to consumers via our technology platforms; technology systems beyond our control and technology-related defects that could disrupt the LivePerson services; errors, failures or "bugs" in our products may be difficult to correct; increased allowances for doubtful accounts as a result of an increasing amount of receivables due from customers with greater credit risk; payment-related risks; delays in our implementation cycles; impairments to goodwill that result in significant charges to earnings; risks associated with the recent volatility in the capital markets; our ability to secure additional financing to execute our business strategy; our ability to license necessary third party software for use in our products and services, and our ability to successfully integrate third party software; our ability to maintain our reputation; risks related to our recognition of revenue from subscriptions; our lengthy sales cycles; risks related to our operations in Israel, and the civil and political unrest in that region; changes in accounting principles generally accepted in the United States; risks associated with our current or any future stock repurchase programs, including whether such programs will enhance long-term stockholder value, and whether such stock repurchases could increase the volatility of the price of our common stock and diminish our cash reserves; natural catastrophic events and interruption to our business by man-made problems; the high volatility of our stock price; and risks related to our common stock being traded on more than one securities exchange. This list is intended to identify only certain of the principal factors that could cause actual results to differ from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Readers are referred to the reports and documents filed from time to time by us with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a discussion of these and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ from those discussed in forward-looking statements.