By Drew Singer
The car buying website Unhaggle is about to add two new products to its online lead-driving arsenal.
The self-proclaimed “middleman” between dealers and consumers hopes to supply Canadian new car dealers with more opportunity to bid for business with two new ways to chase down leads.
First up, the lead-haggling company will now provide dealers with another way to connect with consumers in real-time, with a service called Unhaggle Prospects.
The digital product allows car buyers who are researching a new vehicle on Unhaggle to opt-in and request more information about that particular vehicle from a recommended local dealership.
Once a customer has filled out their first and last name, verified phone number, postal code, email, and specific vehicle, the lead is instantly sent out to the nearest participating dealer.
Dealers choose their designated territory and the complete Unhaggle lead is delivered to the nearest dealership in the area. No other dealerships will receive the same information, the company insists.
“It’s a real-time way to engage with customers who are sitting in front of the computer researching a vehicle,” said Unhaggle CEO and co-founder Andrew Tai.
Unhaggle believes the ability to quickly connect hungry online shoppers with dealerships will quickly and easily allow dealers to answer any questions a potential customer may have.
“Our best performing dealerships make it a point, during business hours, to have someone on the phone with that customer within five minutes” said Tai.
He said the most successful dealerships respond quickly, with pertinent information. In order to reinforce the importance of a quick, meaningful lead follow-up, dealer training on lead management is also available with the product from Unhaggle.
Launched in 2011, the company’s first product, Unhaggle Marketplace, was a platform that allowed car buyers to comparison shop the best “drive away” prices on available local inventory from home and skip the hassles of negotiating by getting dealers to compete online.
According to the company, Unhaggle customers do not window-shop. In fact, from the time a new customer has signed-up, almost 60 per cent buy a vehicle within the first month.
Enter the company’s second new feature, Unhaggle Conquest. Born out of the desire to further engage the other 40 per cent that have not requested contact with a dealership, Conquest looks to trigger engagement by targeting those dormant customers with specifically tailored email offers.
As the customer has not yet permitted Unhaggle to share their information with a dealership, the company is unable to transfer the lead. Instead, it uses the customer’s browsing history on the website to further bait them into a bite.
In other words, Unhaggle creates a targeted email blast to entice undecided shoppers.
Dealers choose how many promotions (or counter-offers) they would like to purchase and to send to dormant customers and how they would like their campaign to run. But there’s a kicker: other dealerships also get a shot.
For example, a Nissan dealership in Halifax may set a campaign to counter-offer every dormant Honda Civic shopper in the area with a bonus incentive. Or, a BMW dealership may set a standing order to compete with all luxury vehicles in the area.
Dealers can choose how they would like their promotions or to run and which vehicles they would like to counter-offer.
According to Tai, Conquest is based on the traditional premise of sending physical mail to a customer, but with a whole new twist.
“It’s like that old paper-mailer but its digital and it’s much more targeted.”
Unlike snail-mail, Conquest ads are targeted to the specific interests of the in-market customer.
Conquest launches January 2014 while Unhaggle Prospects has now hit full steam after a staggered six-month rollout.