Carsnip In Conversation with Allistair Carmichael, VP for Calldrip UK

Today, Allistair Carmichael and Philip White, Commercial Director for Carsnip, hosted a webinar looking into the impact and scale of the covid-19 pandemic, as presented by the data from Calldrip’s various engagement and lead generation services.

Beginning with digital enquiries from emails only, Allistair explains the trends of used car email enquiry volumes since lockdown began. Allistair commented “You can see the trend where we’ve seen peaks and troughs, and lead generation dropped off for some of our dealers to between 75% and 90%”. He went on to say that this is “due to a combination of consumers being on lockdown, everybody being slightly confused, and very concerned”. As the lockdown continues, you can see some very clear peaks in lead volumes. These tend to occur on a Monday, after consumers have seemingly taken time at the weekends to enjoy the wonderful early summer weather we have been experiencing, but then have clearly wished to engage with a dealer as one of their first tasks in the week. Allistair also suggests that the downturn in enquiry volume is from a dealer reaction to advertising; “it was also a reflection of the fact that most dealers cut a lot of their spend, especially around PPC and classifieds” said Allistair. 

But the data indicated that there is still demand out there for used cars. Some of Calldrip’s most invested clients, such as Saxton 4X4 (and also a Premium customer of Carsnip) have almost managed to return to the same enquiry volume as before lockdown; “An example of somebody that’s generating high volumes of enquiry, almost at levels they were at before, Saxton 4X4 is an example, Europe largest independent luxury 4X4 specialists… is still generating great levels of enquiry and is doing a great job handling those enquiries as well.”

A change in call-to-actions during lockdown?

Call volumes, as opposed to email and digital enquiries, experienced a massive decline in activity in the early days of UK lockdown. The data above shows all call types, from service to sales, aftercare and used cars. Allistair explains “Telephone was the highest enquiry source pre- covid-19… and we’ve seen that really drop off”. 

 “The NEW NORMAL, where the digital assets are more enticing to consumer in the current environment” – Allistair Carmichael, Calldrip UK

Understand Your Customer

Allistair is extremely dedicated to spreading the message about education and dealership readiness. He believes that the most successful dealers will be those with the most agility, and with the most versatile and forward thinking plans. 

  The ‘new normal’ preparedness means you need to be ready on the B of the BANG! The first out of the starting blocks will be the most successful and buoyant businesses. 

It’s really important to understand the needs and wants of your customer post lockdown. Things will not turn back to normal (not the normal we all know anyway), and you need to be able to adapt to that. By embracing new technology, new lines of communication and reach for your customers, and new merchandising methods, will all support your ability to make a successful return to market. 

Key takeaways? 

  • There is pent up demand! People are still searching for cars, dwell time on websites is high so make sure you are presenting your stock in the best possible way. 
  • Speed Sells! 76% of customers buy from the 1st responder that engages. Take the customer out of the market by being first to communicate and first to respond. 

Check out all our other webinars on our youtube channel here.

About Carsnip

Carsnip is the UK’s largest used car search engine, with over 500,000 dealer sold used cars across the UK. We operate a natural language search engine, to help you find your perfect used car, and narrow down the choice by what’s most important to you.

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