How can you compare portals?25 januari 2018, Paul
One of the most frequently asked questions is about the portals…
Last month I had the honor to give a number of presentations at the regional meetings of the Bovag independent car companies. The subject of my presentation was the online automotive and how you can handle it successfully in a pragmatic and structured way. After my presentation, most of the questions came up with the following: How can / can’t I justify my investments in the portals?
At Marktplaats we would like to give you an answer on how you can calculate the investment in Marktplaats and what you get in return. After all, we have to earn your ad every day, since we do not have an agreement and it is therefore up to you to place the advertisement. Now, the easiest calculation is, you sell a car directly to a Marktplaats lead. The answer will be yes in many cases, but in some cases this is different. After all, the customer of 2017 visits more than 19 online sources, before he / she buys a new car. With a used car we see that the average customer searches for 4 weeks before he / she calls, emails or comes by. So if you ask a customer, that spontaneously comes in, how did you find this car, the customer will often say ‘on the internet’ and if that is specific, for example Marktplaats, then the customer often also consulted other sources, such as Google. Now, it is true that I myself have done a research at my car company at the time, to ask the customers by showing logos of the different portals and possibilities and what is striking is that people said Marktplaats, for example, while the car did not even show on Marktplaats… So, let us focus on what we can measure and how you should value it.
Leads that you can measure from a portal are the online leads and the telephone leads. Only at Marktplaats we have call track numbers, so that we not only show the clicks and visitors who would like to see a phone number, but also the actual number of telephone leads and also the possibility to access the missed calls again. If portal X only has the clicks, you still do not know who or what or how often someone called.
In addition, there are the e-mail leads, and you have them in many different types. In bids, in an entry type, an availability mail. These can easily be counted and put on value. Please note that each portal requires a different way of follow-up. For example, a portal that places a button ‘Request availability’ will receive many leads with the question of whether a car is available, but this often does not and is not the only question that is asked. A bid from Marktplaats is more of a starting point for a dialogue than an ending point. It is the way visitors at Marktplaats deal with all their purchases and therefore also with cars. So do not look at it as a real bid, but as a starting point of a dialogue. After all, many people are shocked if you react positively on their bidding and you will not hear from them in a while.
Which KPIs are even more important?
The most important KPI, besides that people actually call and or mail, are the number of inventory pages that are visited. Not the search results pages in which your cars are shown, but the real product pages, the so-called VDP pages. If visitors specifically want a VW Golf from the year 2009, with max 100 000km, with a diesel engine, then each portal shows the search results, if you then win the next click, so that the visitor specifically visits, views and studies your car, then this has a value. Only then can this visitor be converted into a lead, online, call or physically. Now, as a car company you want that visitor to be on your page on your website, but that is not always in the interest of the portal. Where you pay 12 cents in the market to allow a visitor to land on a product page of your own website, the same visitor is worth less on a portal. The value is about 5 cents. If you calculate the number of VDP views, not the search results but only the VDP views, and put them on a value of 5 euro cents, you will soon see what your ROI is on your investment on that specific portal and where the differences are in terms of numbers. The customer of 2017 will always prefer to be anonymous than to be tempted into a lead, with all the data!
If you value all statistical KPIs, you will get a fair comparison between the portals and whether or not the investment, or the difference in costs, is justified. If you want to know more about this topic, I will gladly help you! Especially for dealers and car companies, I have created an ROI Reporting tool to compare each portal. I’d be happy to share it with you.
About Paul de Vries
Paul de Vries became a Key Automotive Spokesperson at eBay (Marketplace) after selling Nieuweautokopen.nl to eBay back in 2015. Paul is the founder and CEO of the #DCDW Academy and the presenter of the #DCDW Podcast. He is also a by dealers and importers frequently asked speaker in the online automotive industry. Paul is the winner of the prestigious Lighthouse Award 2016 in the U.S.! `Lead the Way op de digitale snelweg’ is Paul’s new book, which can be used as a guide in the online automotive industry. More information is available at: DCDW.nl.