RICHMOND, B.C. – After a quiet beta test wrapped in mid-July, a new online dealer network allowing instant communication and on-the-spot offers to buy and sell inventory is poised to make a big impact on the national dealer market.
Dubbed Chatterfox, the system comes from Datton, the same of B.C.-based technology company behind rides.ca and Bignition.
By all accounts it has been an early favourite among dealers in the initial test area of B.C. and Alberta.
“It is really unique in the way it functions,” explains Derek Rathburn, Datton managing partner and CEO.
“It is a network that is not dependent on third-party data like DMS or inventory feeds. With previous efforts, we found that most people gravitated towards the communication aspect. So we built a mass communication platform that allows dealers to buy, sell and trade with each other.”
The site allows for communication in multiple ways. There is a primary room offering a national audience with region filter. Specific rooms can also be created with select participants. The company says dealership groups that have internal trading as high priority can use the latter to create instant group communication.
Brand specific rooms can be created so industry peers can connect regarding business around their brand.
Rathburn says the team at Datton has done away with a big install. Users can get up and running in 90 seconds and be “trained in five minutes.”
Operation, he insists, is easy.
“For example, if a dealer is looking for a 2013 Acadia SLT AWD with sunroof that he can retail for around $30,000, he would have to call a wholesaler or email five other dealers with those specs,” he explains.
“With Chatterfox, he can send that out to the desktop of over a 100 dealers, if he wants, in real time. People then have the option of replying privately or publicly.”
The team says users can also create selling posts for vehicles coming in on trade or inventory slated to head to the auction.
“It is essentially the same audience that will be at the auction, it is just that people have not had to the opportunity to reach out online en mass to that audience before. They have had to go to one central gathering place to share their inventory. On this, you can post your buying needs, selling needs, trading needs or communicate one-on-one.”
Read more about Chatterfox in the next issue of Canadian AutoWorld