Autoweb has Continued to Grow During this Tough Economic Climate

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Autoweb has continued to grow during this tough economic climate. Despite difficult times Autoweb.co.uk has continued to grow, actually employing more staff when others are announcing redundancies. Recently Autoweb has been chosen as the website for displaying dealers used cars by many and has also been approved by BMW and 2009 promises to be another great year.

Despite difficult times Autoweb.co.uk has continued to grow, actually employing more staff when others are announcing redundancies. Recently Autoweb has been chosen as the website for displaying dealers used cars by many and has also been approved by BMW. 2009 promises to be another great year. Could the recession really be working in Autowebs favour? The one thing that this credit crunch has done is make car dealerships look very closely at their current advertising.

Allow us to take you on a short journey.

In the later part of 2007, one of the UK 's largest Dealer Networks, went out and found the top six internet portals available. Each was then given the same selection of franchised dealers stock with unique tracking numbers. Over a five month period Autoweb came out with the second highest amount of calls, beaten only by the market leader. Although Autoweb created nearly 50 % more calls then the portal in 3 rd place, we still only produced 19% of the amount of calls, when compared with the market leader. Although reasonably pleased with second place, we realised that we not only had to close the gap but also prove that we were a completely different line of enquiry.

We set the team the challenge and the research began. We found that internet car buyers fell into three main categories; those that went straight to the market leader as they always had and those that were part of a bidding culture and preferred to email their enquiries and bids, rather than pick up the telephone. The 3 rd type of buyer had the knowledge of how to find there chosen car via the search engines. We also found that some users simply would not click on sponsored listings. This is where Autoweb could begin to close the gap without even competing for the other two types of internet car buyer. It has to be said that in our opinion a wise dealer would have all three areas covered and besides, Autoweb's Dealers can export their stock anywhere free of charge.

Although we aimed to be top for our chosen keywords, we soon realized that you can not have 1 st position on a search engine for every search term. This is where our 3 rd party sites came into the equation. If Autoweb could not get position one for a chosen term then we should get our dealers stock on the site that does have position one. Partnerships were formed and we now often have our dealers stock on 5 or 6 of the websites listed on page 1 of all the major search engines.

We now had to prove to our dealers that we were creating good sales leads and not just tyre kickers. Tracking numbers were then given out to all new customers and offered to all existing ones. It was now time to measure our improvement. In the last 3 months of 2008 a small Dealership Group used a call tracking system so advanced (Calltracks.com) that it hooked up to their stock management system and then tied calls to actual sales. Out of over 40 different means of advertising, both internet and print - Autoweb not only produced the most sales, but they now had also began to close the gap. We had actually produced more sales from fewer calls than the market leader, with a now improved 38% of the calls. Mission accomplished? Not quite but they are certainly heading in the right direction.

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