SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- LotLinx, developers of the auto industry's first deep-linking technology platform, today confirmed that the LotLinx Vehicle Display Network, a VIN-specific inventory advertising technology that deep links consumers shopping on over 125 automotive search sites directly to dealer Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs), is significantly reducing Days on Lot (DOL) in comparison to traditional automotive online marketing channels.
"LotLinx is delivering a revolutionary way for dealers to reach low-funnel, ready-to-buy shoppers," said LotLinx Founder Len Short. "By replacing third-party lead forms with a deep link directly to the vehicle on a dealer's website, our dealer partners are seeing a drastic reduction in the number of days vehicles spend on their lots. This increase in sales velocity correlates directly to how many buyers are shopping Vehicle Detail Pages (VDPs) on a dealer's site. More online shoppers equal more buyers. Simple as that."
In a study of over 140 dealerships, LotLinx compared the speed with which inventory that received VDP traffic from LotLinx deep-link technology moved, versus inventory receiving all other VDP views. The result was a dramatic decrease in DOL across all makes and models. For example, the average new vehicle included in the study averaged 118 DOL prior to sale, while those sold after receiving LotLinx views averaged just 27 DOL. Similarly, average DOL for all used vehicles sold during the study were 103 days, but just 54 days average for those sold after receiving LotLinx VDP views. Not only does this represent a dramatic increase in sales velocity and inventory turn, but it has an immediate impact on the bottom line: LotLinx is a proven solution to decrease time on lot and sell more vehicles, faster.
"This new tracking tool confirms what multiple other industry research studies have shown: a direct correlation between VDP views and how fast new or used vehicles move," said Short. "There has been a dramatic shift in behavior - today's buyers are completing more of the shopping process online and deferring engagement until they have identified the inventory that meets their needs. Once they do, they engage on the lot when they are ready to buy."
Industry data shows that nearly 70% of all buyers avoid lead channels, making their first contact with the dealer, in person, on the dealer's lot. "They're 'destination shopping'- essentially following the inventory to the lot," continued Short. "Over the past 5 years, the number of lot visits the average automotive buyer makes has dropped dramatically from 4.1 in 2005 to just 1.3."
Dealers confirm that being part of the LotLinx network delivers significant returns and, importantly, incremental new business:
Said Brent Durham, Internet Marketing Director of Maryland's Preston Automotive Group: "We never realized how many customers view our inventory on sites that we are not a part of. If you take merchandising your inventory online seriously, LotLinx is a must."
The auto Internet landscape and consumer behavior have changed significantly over the past decade and inventory search is now the #1 online shopping activity. It's the key step buyers take before choosing a dealer to purchase from, and those shopping searches are primarily happening on 3rd-party, dedicated automotive search sites that function much like Travelocity or Kayak do in the travel space: attracting the vast majority of consumers when they're down-funnel and actively hunting real, specific inventory to purchase. LotLinx enables direct linking from these sites to the VDPs on a dealership's site.
"The LotLinx traffic I get is the most efficient means of driving VDP traffic," said Andy Wile, Director of Marketing at Walter's Automotive Group in Riverside, CA. "LotLinx sends in-market shoppers right to my site's VDPs and I pay less than half per click than I do via paid search - and paid search doesn't send them to a VDP!"
In this same study, dealers reported that the LotLinx Vehicle Display Network delivers nearly twice as many true shoppers (those actively searching inventory) than Search Engine Marketing, at up to 20X less per shopper cost – and these are more likely to be customers the dealerships would otherwise not see. As a result, dealers in the LotLinx network are seeing that inventory exposure across the universe of car 'shopping search' sites, and directly linking these shoppers to VDPs on their website, is paying significant and diverse dividends.
"With 85% of all inventory searches happening at the sites in the LotLinx network, dealers have a huge opportunity to capture and influence shoppers as they reach the moment of purchase. These are the ready-to-buy consumers who will be directly linked to the dealer website VDP pages by the LotLinx Vehicle Display Network. This is the bottom-of-the-funnel audience, delivered exclusively to the dealer with a 'VIN-specific" click. It's the ultimate moment of opportunity for the dealer," concluded Short.
LotLinx is the auto industry's first direct-linking technology platform and connects over 6.5 million consumers searching vehicle inventory online every month directly to the dealership websites where that inventory resides. Founded by a team of veteran automotive and digital innovators, the company's mission is to tear down the third-party wall between dealers and their customers, and provide a more positive and efficient experience for dealerships and consumers alike. LotLinx's patent-pending technology replaces lead forms on third-party sites with direct links that transport consumers searching for inventory directly to the dealer's Vehicle Detail Page (VDP), all at a higher conversion rate and fraction of the cost of other online options. LotLinx is based in San Francisco, CA.
 Cobalt's online shopping studies (2011 and 2012)