By: Kelly Kleinman from Dealership News
Sixteen thousand cold calls and a Heaping Helping of industry praise later, and LotLinx has become a car dealer’s best friend. It hasn’t been an overnight success, though. As Advertising Veteran/Angel Investor turned Founder of LotLinx Len Short explains, it all started in the early 2000’s with his search for investment opportunities. He found that, although the majority of vehicle research takes place online, inventory search in automotive was antiquated and “broken.” Seizing the opportunity, he partnered with Co-Founders Jason Knight and Rob Vucic in 2012 to start an inventory marketing company that would bridge the gap between auto retailers and consumers – and just so happen to be on the forefront of the next major technological revolution.
Unlike most other automotive marketing solutions today that focus on audience, LotLinx flips things by focusing on VINs and using technology to accomplish real dealer inventory sales objectives. They have developed a patented artificial intelligence (AI) technology that pinpoints the most influential shopping moments in the vehicle buying process to deliver in-market consumer demand to specific vehicle pages on the dealer site.
Their solutions help dealerships become more efficient and resilient to the impacts of bloated inventory stocks or aged units by moving vehicles when it’s most profitable. Currently, as vehicles age, dealers turn to price reductions as a means of boosting sales. Without LotLinx, most dealers move less than 35% of inventory at or around listing price.
While markdowns are an easy lever to pull, they should not be considered a best practice by any means. Marking down slow-moving inventory not only sacrifices profit on those units, but also degrades the value of other similar vehicles on the lot. (Why would someone buy a vehicle at list price if there is a similar unit on the lot that is cheaper?)
LotLinx is essentially saying, “Don’t drop prices until the vehicles have been adequately promoted! Price vehicles at reasonable market prices, use smarter marketing strategies to drive consumer demand to those vehicles, and sell cars at a higher profit. You can make a choice to LOSE gross by dropping price, or USE strategic promotional dollars to retain higher margins.”
THE CRED TEST: At Dealership News, we have access to the Google Analytics of hundreds of car dealers. We can see which vendors deliver, and which vendors do not. Google Analytics, love them or hate them, are agnostic. We can see that LotLinx traffic to VDPs is higher-quality than any vendor in the industry. Their traffic arrives with purpose, does their research, and is considered “sticky,” suggesting they stick around on the VDP for more than a few minutes and engages with the vehicle’s photos, chats, etc.
For additional credibility, a major portion (if not all) of most dealerships’ LotLinx budget can be covered by co-op dollars. Right now, LotLinx is considered “co-op approved” by the following OEMs: Alfa Romeo, Audi, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, GMC, Hyundai, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Maserati, Mazda, Ram, and Subaru.
What’s it going to cost a dealer? To put AI-vetted consumer demand on a specific car, you pay on average $50 per VIN.
/AI/ can’t close the sale for you. It comes down to the personnel and lead converting skills within each dealership. But they can get your closers closer to a conversion than anyone else when it comes to your inventory.
Their team of strategy experts offer free dealer inventory consultations that go in-depth to look at vehicles that make the most impact on margins.