Retention & LoyaltyResearch & Analysis

Retention & Loyalty
car spare part
The Power of Return Parts Buyers

By

You probably know the age-old business adage that it’s cheaper to sell to an existing customer than it is to acquire a new one. In fact, it’s about 5x more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to sell to an existing customer. It’s been reported that increasing customer retention by 5% can yield a 25 - 95% increase in profit for your business. Furthermore, the average success rate of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while that of a new customer is just 5-20%.  All customers are important, but not all of those customers are created. Although every vehicle owner is a valued potential parts customer, the difference is between new and returning shoppers. RevolutionParts recently looked at a year’s worth of data consisting of over 100 million unique users. Based on the data, here is why return parts customers are so important: They lead to more purchases They spend more money They bring in additional business Return Parts Buyers Make Up More Than Half of RevolutionParts Web Store Visitors RevolutionParts shopper behavior data shows that return shoppers account for 54.9% of visits, where new shoppers account for a lesser 45.1%. Source: RevolutionParts eCommerce Shopper Behavior Report More than half of web store visitors are return customers; this emphasizes the importance of nurturing customer loyalty through marketing and outreach after the initial point-of-sale.  Return Part Buyers Spend More Money It’s no secret that you want customers to spend more in your parts department, and that is exactly what return customers do. Return shoppers to RevolutionParts web stores spend $65 more per order on average. Once someone makes a purchase from your web store, they are likely to spend more money the next time they purchase a part from you.  Return Part Buyers Convert at a Higher Rate Getting someone to come to your web store costs ad dollars. Once someone lands on your website, your job is to convert them into customers. The higher your conversion rate, the less money each conversion costs you. Return parts shoppers convert at 2X the rate of new visitors, meaning they will take less money to acquire. Return Part Buyers Bring The Customers to You Word-of-mouth is a blessing to your marketing budget. After all, it’s free advertising. Generally, research has shown that return customers refer 50% more people than one-time buyers. When you give customers an affordable, convenient, and reliable shopping experience, not only will they come back for future needs, they’ll tell their friends and family to shop with you too. That means you stand to gain new customers at absolutely no cost. RevolutionParts found that over 5% of gross sales came from referrals. Get the Full eCommerce Shopper Behavior Report The RevolutionParts eCommerce Shopper Behavior Report gives insight into the behavior of new and returning customers, including demographics, the devices your customers are using to purchase their items, and customer traffic sources. To view the full report, visit: https://www.revolutionparts.com/
Where the COVID-19 Outbreak Is Impacting Dealers’ Marketing Strategies

By

As the world continues to watch and see exactly how the COVID-19 outbreak unfolds, everyone involved in the automotive industry is also eyes wide open on the topic. The outbreak has had a sweeping and profound impact in a short amount of time, and it has been a striking blow to what was a magnificent run of sales dating back to the recession of 2010. How Bad Will Things Get? J.D. Power said recently the industry could see a decline of up to three million retail sales in 2020 as a result of COVID-19. This would equate to an annual sales range of between 14 and 16 million. The analyst’s pre-virus forecast was for 16.8 million in total new sales. Hampering much of this opportunity are the many automakers that decided to suspend production of vehicles, such as General Motors, Ford, and Fiat Chrysler. However, J.D. Power also stated that it is very possible that the industry can recover from such a scenario, driven of course by government stimulus, incentives and other possible measures. What Can Dealers Do? In the near term, dealers are left wondering what to do, how to preserve sales opportunities, and how to be as helpful as possible to their customers. Like many other companies in other industries, dealers have had to make quick and sometimes drastic adjustments to their marketing strategies. Where Dealers Are Adjusting Their Marketing According to Merit Mile Research, in an online poll of roughly 200 dealers around the U.S. during the weekend of March 19 – 22 when the outbreak had begun to reach large proportions, 19% of dealers said they had not made any changes at that point to their marketing budgets. However, 18% said they had already cut as much as half of their marketing budget, and another third of dealers said they had cut between 20% - 40% of their marketing budget. This comes as no surprise, especially since many businesses have had to completely shutter their doors, especially in industries such as hospitality, restaurants, and fitness centers all throughout the U.S. Dealers themselves are looking to not only do right by their customers and employees and show as much empathy as possible, but they’re also trying to stop as much bleeding as possible to the bottom line. Merit Mile Research Findings for 19th - 22nd March 2020 Social, Direct Mail to See Large Cuts In terms of where dealers are making cuts to their marketing budgets, they’re slashing across the board. The majority of dealers (63%) said they are making cuts to their social media marketing, which may be no surprise since social channels were heavily populated by dealers pre-virus. Direct mail (53%) and email marketing (47%) were also reported to be taking large cuts from the marketing budget. In the near-term, most dealers (35%) said they will leverage their marketing strategies to “shift focus to more engagement with existing customers”, which makes sense because they realize their current customers have many questions and they want to ensure proper service levels are being met. Even though social media and direct mail saw a large reduction, dealers say they will continue to rely on these channels in some capacity in an effort to reach and communicate with customers. A Focus on Engaging with Existing Customers This commitment to communication will be critical as 82% of dealers say their customers are most concerned with how dealers are cleaning down cars to prevent the spread of the virus. Another 63% of dealers said their customers are mostly concerned with inquiring about buying or leasing a vehicle online without having to come to the showroom, and also asking if the service centers will remain open for business. These are trying times for dealers, their employees and certainly for their customers. A strong (and continued) focus on serving their communities will carry them through the COVID-19 outbreak, and while sales are sure to take a hit, we will all come through stronger when business returns to normal. Having the right insight into making appropriate adjustments to the marketing strategy will help dealers remain engaged with their customers, and they will be seen as a helpful resource rather than simply promoting deals and offers.
Loyalty
Prepaid and Complimentary Maintenance Plans Equal Loyalty From Next Gen Customers

By

While most dealerships offer some degree of prepaid maintenance (PPM) or complimentary dealer and OEM maintenance plans, many questions how effective these plans really are and if they do in fact provide the intended retention and ROI. Good news—research shows that they do and additionally they provide the unique opportunity to tap into the highly desirable younger market segment. DMEautomotive’s recent national consumer survey provides fresh insight into the state of prepaid and complimentary maintenance plans, along with evidence of their powerful ability to provide consistent dealer retention. Research shows that strong programs can keep customers coming back for repairs long after the expiration of their respective maintenance package—shifting business that typically bleeds into the aftermarket, into firm dealership territory. Below are some of the key findings of DMEautomotive’s recent survey: Roughly one in four U.S. vehicle owners have a dealer or OEM prepaid or free service plan. Free or prepaid, 35 percent of customers are not using plan for all maintenance. While 65 percent use plans for all scheduled maintenance, a surprising 25 percent only use it for “some” and nine percent have not used it at all. Plan usage and satisfaction levels align: those using their plans for all scheduled service at the dealership report the highest satisfaction and 75 percent are either “extremely satisfied” or “satisfied.” Next-generation servicers (under 35) are more likely to have a plan (31 percent) than those over 35 (18 percent) making these plans a powerful tool for young, dealer-disloyal servicers. Plans drive long-term retention as 56 percent of consumers with a prepaid or “complementary” service plan report they are likely to continue servicing their vehicle at their dealership after the plan expiration. Loyalty during plans impacts future loyalty—almost twice as many consumers who use their plan for all maintenance (versus those who only use it for some ) report they’re “very likely” to continue servicing their vehicle with that dealer at plan-end (30 percent versus 17 percent). One of the most valuable pieces of information gathered from the survey is that there is a new way to reach our younger customers. Results show that younger consumers are significantly more likely to use their plans for all maintenance than older consumer segments. Notably, 84 percent of those aged 25-34 (who used the plan for all maintenance) reported high plan satisfaction, in addition to 62 percent stating they are likely to service at the dealership post-plan. Given that the 25-34-year-old age range is typically the largest group of dealer-disloyalists, it’s clear that maintenance plans can be yielded as a uniquely powerful tool. While maintenance plans provide a powerful opportunity, they do take effort. We have learned that customers covered by maintenance plans often stray from the dealership for repairs. While this may initially be seen as a profit gain, research shows that customers who stray are more likely to take servicing needs elsewhere upon expiration—demonstrating the importance of consistently engaging with customers post-sale; something to keep in mind as you manage your ongoing customer relationships. Mary Sheridan is a CRM insights analyst for DMEautomotive’s strategy and analytics team, which is focused on producing cutting-edge research on service customer behavior to help automotive retailers build greater customer loyalty and retention. Sheridan has a PhD in clinical psychology and has nearly a decade’s experience in primary research, including over four years in customer experience and loyalty.