Walk-In Shoppers Aren’t Sending Leads

We recently worked with an outside research firm to learn more about walk-in shoppers. With the advent of our Lot Insights report and our desire to continually understand and improve our reporting on our in-market car buying audience, we’ve found some very interesting nuggets of information.

We asked cars shoppers if at any point during their last car purchase from a dealership if they submitted contact information online to the dealership prior to their visit. We found that 43 percent of shoppers do not contact a dealership before walking onto the lot¹ –a plurality of car shoppers (Chart 1). This is a significant insight. This illustrates the role of online shopping to today’s car shopper.


Chart 1. Walk-In Shopper Survey. Toluna. February 2017.

You could say the more information you provide on your inventory online for consumers – the better you are at merchandising – the greater your chances are at encouraging lot visits from car shoppers. Now, we also took this study a step further to understand what car shoppers do after they just show up on the lot without submitting a lead to the dealership.

We asked car shoppers, regarding the dealership they ultimately purchased from, approximately how much time passed between the moment they first visited the dealership and the moment they purchased a vehicle. The takeaway here? Walk-in shoppers are high-quality leads: over two-thirds of these shoppers purchased within 72 hours of their on the lot visit¹. That’s huge! That’s a short window between an on the lot visit and a purchase. More credence needs to be given to those car shoppers showing up on the lot.

Chart 2. Walk-In Shopper Survey. Toluna. February 2017.

When we cut the data down further as we see in the chart above (Chart 2), 40 percent of car shoppers bought within the same day¹. That’s an even better insight! On the lot visitors need to be treated as if they are ready to buy and supported while visiting the dealership.

If you aren’t already using the Lot Insights report, today’s the day to start. We know that visitors to the lot are showing up informed and are using their mobile devices to cross shop pricing, makes and models². The dealership that recognizes the value of the on the lot visitor, and that they most likely have not submitted a lead and supports them during their visit can increase the likelihood of a purchase.

Having a strategy in place to fully answer on the lot visitor questions quickly and knowledgeably may decrease their likelihood of cross shopping on their mobile devices.

We all know that not everyone submits lead information in today’s digitally savvy world. Now, we are shedding more light on what consumers are doing when they are fully informed and showing on the lot. The rest is up to the dealership.

[1] Walk-In Shopper Survey. Toluna. February 2017.
[2] Mobile Influence on Car Shoppers. Cars.com. February 2017.

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