EMERGING technology will help dealers target customers more exactly through better profiling, says iVendi.
The online motor retail business said that especially around online searches, there is considerable potential for matching customers and the vehicle they want.
Rob Severs, Vice President Data and Insight, said: “Profiling potentially allows you to match customer to vehicle and finance through online activity more quickly and with greater accuracy.
“There are two main types becoming available. The first looks at a user’s past activity. If you know someone has been searching for a specific model of hatchback, priced between £7,000-8,000, aged less than three years old, having covered around 15,000 miles, with a finance deal showing payment range between £140-160 per month and a deposit of £500, you can provide them with options from your stock.
“The second reverses that process, essentially, using data gathered over time. It works by looking at a dealer’s used vehicle stock and suggesting the profile of a prospective customer.
“This will include factors such as gender, age, marital status, residency type, dependents, occupation and income. It can even drill down to profiling customer types on a derivative basis so identifying the difference between purchasers of a five seater versus seven seater of the same model.”
Severs said that both these types of profiling enabled car retailers to create an online retail journey to them that fits each customer’s specific needs more exactly.
“It’s about using the information you know about a customer to potentially target their requirements more accurately at an earlier stage in the process, increasing your chances of making a sale by meeting their needs more efficiently.”
He added that the results of profiling were often predictable but also delivered regular surprises that could enable dealers to profitably change their approach to marketing particular models or types of vehicle.
“In our experience, this information can often throw up the unexpected. It would probably be of little surprise to most dealers that a 40 year old man or woman with a family earning £30,000 a year is primarily looking for a 4-6 year old SUV on a PCP.
“However, there tend to be many cases where the data can teach dealers new things about their existing and potential customers and their needs and desires, overturning the accepted wisdom in many examples.
“In our view, this kind of profiling has many uses for the future. The technology is available now and we looking at ways of integrating it into our product development plans for the near future.”