Market Pulse: Shopper Demand and Inventory Planning

Chris Martin, Senior Vice President of Customer Development

Market Pulse: Shopper Demand and Inventory Planning

Chris Martin, Senior Vice President of Customer Development

Market Pulse: Shopper Demand and Inventory Planning

Chris Martin, Senior Vice President of Customer Development

What a difference a few weeks makes. Although true in typical circumstances, this is specifically true navigating the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath. For months, we’ve been monitoring online shopping behavior, keeping a close eye on the number of shoppers entering and remaining in market. Memorial Day served as a catalyst for some encouraging shopper trends indicating demand may be ready to hold steady.

More people in the market is good news, and it comes with new challenges for dealers. As lower inventory levels impact dealerships in varying degrees, dealers need to know what demand exists for the vehicles remaining on their lots as they wait for factories to come back to full capacity later this summer. As dealers look to stock their lots with the right inventory from the growing supply of used vehicles, it is critical to know what vehicles are drawing the most attention from shoppers, new and used. Client Command’s Active Shopper Network® is uniquely positioned to deliver a real-time people-level pulse on automotive shopping behavior at the model level.

For nearly three months, supply and demand have been out of balance. Shopper demand was decimated by the impact of Covid-19 and dealers left with inventory to serve high-selling months. With states re-opening, aggressive financing offers set to expire and consumers recognizing disruptions to the supply chain, shopping is on the rise. As we move into the summer the pendulum is beginning to swing the other direction, making it essential for dealers to market with precision, identifying shoppers looking for a dealer’s exact inventory.

ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® – 2020 DAILY SHOPPING TRENDS (NATIONAL)

NEW Daily Active Shoppers (started shopping that day)

NEW DAILY ENTRANTS TRENDS: For the first time since February, the number of new shoppers entering the market is trending up at the start of the month. With a much anticipated boost from the Memorial Day, this is an indicator that shopper demand is safely in the recovery zone.

What does this mean? Today’s shopping is a leading indicator of future sales. Following an eight week drop off, momentum is underway for new daily entrants. This is a solid sign for sales in Q3, especially for those dealers most restricted during the first 60 days of the Covid-19 crisis. Dealers looking to make up some ground on a catastrophic April and marginal recovery in May are wise to get in front of these shoppers now to drive Q3 sales.

Year-Over-Year – Active Shopper Network® – Daily Shopping Trends (National)

ALL Daily Active Shoppers

YTD/YEAR OVER YEAR ACTIVE SHOPPER TRENDS

ALL SHOPPERS – TRENDS: Memorial Day provided a boost to overall shopping behavior mirroring seasonal trends of 2019. Shopping stabilized throughout the month of May with a slight uptick at the end of the month, heading in to June with a 15% overall shopping lag compared to 2019. More insights can be seen in the activity in the past 15 days.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior

The maps below offer a visual representation of how shopping has changed in a 15-day time frame at a state level. Dark blue indicates a negative market change (a loss of shoppers) of more than -11.7%. Green indicates a positive market change (increase in shoppers) of 5%. With the Southeast and Southwest leading the way, shopping activity has grown in every state over the past 15 days. Overall, the number of shoppers has increased 4%.

What does this mean? In the month of May, car sales began to rebound from the catastrophic April. Like car sales, shopping activity gained minor traction in May, closing the year-over-year gap by three percentage points.

MODEL-LEVEL SHOPPING DEMAND OFFERS INSIGHTS FOR DEALERS NAVIGATING INVENTORY SHORTAGE

OEMs are diligently working to scale up production while protecting employees from Covid-19. Supply-chain disruption varies by manufacturer and is expected to continue throughout the summer. Even if there is some return to normalcy in July, dealers in states with shorter stay-at-home restrictions are facing inventory shortages now.

Model level demand offers crucial insights as dealers find creative inventory solutions and begin to place factory orders. For example, as dealers look to trade with or buy vehicles from individuals within their 20 Group, the Active Shopper Network® shows that demand varies regionally and that not all demand is in the truck and SUV category.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior BY MODEL

Overall Shopping Activity

LAST 15 DAYS – ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® SHOPPING BEHAVIOR BY MODEL – RAM PICKUP

Ram — shopping up 7% in past 15 days!
Dealers across the country report sales being driven by trucks. Two of the three top selling trucks in 2019, Ram and Chevrolet’s Silverado are reporting upticks in shopping behavior across the country, except for sections of the West and mid-Atlantic.

How does that compare with other top-selling trucks?
Headlines about shortages of Ford’s F-150 seem to be impacting shopping activity, with this traditionally top-selling vehicle showing a 7% decrease in activity. Meanwhile, GMC Sierra and Toyota Tacoma also show shopping increases around 10% with pockets in states like Wyoming and Oregon where shopping demand has recently cooled.

 

LAST 15 DAYS – ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® SHOPPING BEHAVIOR BY MODEL – NISSAN ROGUE

Double digit shopper growth for Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V.
SUVs played a significant role in driving dealership sales during and coming out of Covid-19. Two of the three top selling SUVs in 2019, Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V show double digit growth in shopping as we press into summer. While CR-V shopping has increased on similar levels across the country, shopping upticks for the Rogue are less consistent, with the greatest momentum in the South and Midwest.

How does that compare with other Top-selling SUVs?
Shopper demand appears to be lagging for some category front-runners. Shopping for the Toyota Rav4, the category top seller of 2019 and 4th most-selling vehicle so far in 2020, has fallen off 7% in early June. Meanwhile, shopping for popular models like Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chevrolet Equinox is flat with slight momentum in the Southwest.

 

LAST 15 DAYS – ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® SHOPPING BEHAVIOR BY MODEL – HONDA CIVIC

Popular sedan shopping on the move in past two weeks – Honda Civic up 16%.
As factories re-open and prioritize building trucks and SUVs first, dealers are evaluating the cars on their lots. Long before Covid-19, car sales have been on the decline, but shopping activity shows demand is rebounding quickly for cars. Driven by 20%+ increases in shopper demand in the Southeast, shopping for Honda Civic is gaining momentum by double digits in every state.

How does that compare with other top-selling cars?
Led by the Toyota Camry, with shopping up 40% in early June, the three top selling models (Civic was #2) for 2019 are up double digits. Rounding out the top three, Nissan Altima is up 23%. Other sedans showing near double-digit growth include the Subaru Forester, Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. A sedan that is losing traction is the Hyundai Elantra. Pacing ahead of the curve throughout the first few weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic due to Hyundai’s Assurance Job Loss Protection Program, shopping has fallen off 12% in early June.

 

MAKE PRECISION THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR SUMMER MARKETING STRATEGY

If inventory shortage is a challenge you are facing, our team is available to share daily insights and track changes in shopper demand by model in the past 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and even 360 days. We’re here to equip you with the data you need to assess your market and understand shopper demand for your dealership.

When supply and demand are this out of balance, dealers must invest in real shoppers looking for the exact inventory on their lots. Now more than ever, dealers must build their marketing approach on precision. Together, we can navigate this next phase of the Covid-19 recovery.

MORE ABOUT THE ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK®

Client Command’s patented technology allows us to connect cookies and devices to shopper identity. The Active Shopper Network® monitors 90% of Internet connected devices across more than 61 billion URLs specific to automotive, including classified listing sites, dealership websites, OEM websites, automotive research sites, automotive Google searches and more. With a lens into online shopping activity across the entire Internet, the Active Shopper Network® is uniquely positioned to offer dealers real-time insights into who has started shopping, stopped shopping or continued shopping in the past 24 hours.

What a difference a few weeks makes. Although true in typical circumstances, this is specifically true navigating the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath. For months, we’ve been monitoring online shopping behavior, keeping a close eye on the number of shoppers entering and remaining in market. Memorial Day served as a catalyst for some encouraging shopper trends indicating demand may be ready to hold steady.

More people in the market is good news, and it comes with new challenges for dealers. As lower inventory levels impact dealerships in varying degrees, dealers need to know what demand exists for the vehicles remaining on their lots as they wait for factories to come back to full capacity later this summer. As dealers look to stock their lots with the right inventory from the growing supply of used vehicles, it is critical to know what vehicles are drawing the most attention from shoppers, new and used. Client Command’s Active Shopper Network® is uniquely positioned to deliver a real-time people-level pulse on automotive shopping behavior at the model level.

For nearly three months, supply and demand have been out of balance. Shopper demand was decimated by the impact of Covid-19 and dealers left with inventory to serve high-selling months. With states re-opening, aggressive financing offers set to expire and consumers recognizing disruptions to the supply chain, shopping is on the rise. As we move into the summer the pendulum is beginning to swing the other direction, making it essential for dealers to market with precision, identifying shoppers looking for a dealer’s exact inventory.

ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® – 2020 DAILY SHOPPING TRENDS (NATIONAL)

NEW Daily Active Shoppers (started shopping that day)

NEW DAILY ENTRANTS TRENDS: For the first time since February, the number of new shoppers entering the market is trending up at the start of the month. With a much anticipated boost from the Memorial Day, this is an indicator that shopper demand is safely in the recovery zone.

What does this mean? Today’s shopping is a leading indicator of future sales. Following an eight week drop off, momentum is underway for new daily entrants. This is a solid sign for sales in Q3, especially for those dealers most restricted during the first 60 days of the Covid-19 crisis. Dealers looking to make up some ground on a catastrophic April and marginal recovery in May are wise to get in front of these shoppers now to drive Q3 sales.

Year-Over-Year – Active Shopper Network® – Daily Shopping Trends (National)

ALL Daily Active Shoppers

YTD/YEAR OVER YEAR ACTIVE SHOPPER TRENDS

ALL SHOPPERS – TRENDS: Memorial Day provided a boost to overall shopping behavior mirroring seasonal trends of 2019. Shopping stabilized throughout the month of May with a slight uptick at the end of the month, heading in to June with a 15% overall shopping lag compared to 2019. More insights can be seen in the activity in the past 15 days.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior

The maps below offer a visual representation of how shopping has changed in a 15-day time frame at a state level. Dark blue indicates a negative market change (a loss of shoppers) of more than -11.7%. Green indicates a positive market change (increase in shoppers) of 5%. With the Southeast and Southwest leading the way, shopping activity has grown in every state over the past 15 days. Overall, the number of shoppers has increased 4%.

What does this mean? In the month of May, car sales began to rebound from the catastrophic April. Like car sales, shopping activity gained minor traction in May, closing the year-over-year gap by three percentage points.

MODEL-LEVEL SHOPPING DEMAND OFFERS INSIGHTS FOR DEALERS NAVIGATING INVENTORY SHORTAGE

OEMs are diligently working to scale up production while protecting employees from Covid-19. Supply-chain disruption varies by manufacturer and is expected to continue throughout the summer. Even if there is some return to normalcy in July, dealers in states with shorter stay-at-home restrictions are facing inventory shortages now.

Model level demand offers crucial insights as dealers find creative inventory solutions and begin to place factory orders. For example, as dealers look to trade with or buy vehicles from individuals within their 20 Group, the Active Shopper Network® shows that demand varies regionally and that not all demand is in the truck and SUV category.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior BY MODEL

Overall Shopping Activity

LAST 15 DAYS – ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® SHOPPING BEHAVIOR BY MODEL – RAM PICKUP

Ram — shopping up 7% in past 15 days!
Dealers across the country report sales being driven by trucks. Two of the three top selling trucks in 2019, Ram and Chevrolet’s Silverado are reporting upticks in shopping behavior across the country, except for sections of the West and mid-Atlantic.

How does that compare with other top-selling trucks?
Headlines about shortages of Ford’s F-150 seem to be impacting shopping activity, with this traditionally top-selling vehicle showing a 7% decrease in activity. Meanwhile, GMC Sierra and Toyota Tacoma also show shopping increases around 10% with pockets in states like Wyoming and Oregon where shopping demand has recently cooled.

 

LAST 15 DAYS – ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® SHOPPING BEHAVIOR BY MODEL – NISSAN ROGUE

Double digit shopper growth for Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V.
SUVs played a significant role in driving dealership sales during and coming out of Covid-19. Two of the three top selling SUVs in 2019, Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V show double digit growth in shopping as we press into summer. While CR-V shopping has increased on similar levels across the country, shopping upticks for the Rogue are less consistent, with the greatest momentum in the South and Midwest.

How does that compare with other Top-selling SUVs?
Shopper demand appears to be lagging for some category front-runners. Shopping for the Toyota Rav4, the category top seller of 2019 and 4th most-selling vehicle so far in 2020, has fallen off 7% in early June. Meanwhile, shopping for popular models like Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chevrolet Equinox is flat with slight momentum in the Southwest.

 

LAST 15 DAYS – ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® SHOPPING BEHAVIOR BY MODEL – HONDA CIVIC

Popular sedan shopping on the move in past two weeks – Honda Civic up 16%.
As factories re-open and prioritize building trucks and SUVs first, dealers are evaluating the cars on their lots. Long before Covid-19, car sales have been on the decline, but shopping activity shows demand is rebounding quickly for cars. Driven by 20%+ increases in shopper demand in the Southeast, shopping for Honda Civic is gaining momentum by double digits in every state.

How does that compare with other top-selling cars?
Led by the Toyota Camry, with shopping up 40% in early June, the three top selling models (Civic was #2) for 2019 are up double digits. Rounding out the top three, Nissan Altima is up 23%. Other sedans showing near double-digit growth include the Subaru Forester, Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. A sedan that is losing traction is the Hyundai Elantra. Pacing ahead of the curve throughout the first few weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic due to Hyundai’s Assurance Job Loss Protection Program, shopping has fallen off 12% in early June.

 

MAKE PRECISION THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR SUMMER MARKETING STRATEGY

If inventory shortage is a challenge you are facing, our team is available to share daily insights and track changes in shopper demand by model in the past 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and even 360 days. We’re here to equip you with the data you need to assess your market and understand shopper demand for your dealership.

When supply and demand are this out of balance, dealers must invest in real shoppers looking for the exact inventory on their lots. Now more than ever, dealers must build their marketing approach on precision. Together, we can navigate this next phase of the Covid-19 recovery.

MORE ABOUT THE ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK®

Client Command’s patented technology allows us to connect cookies and devices to shopper identity. The Active Shopper Network® monitors 90% of Internet connected devices across more than 61 billion URLs specific to automotive, including classified listing sites, dealership websites, OEM websites, automotive research sites, automotive Google searches and more. With a lens into online shopping activity across the entire Internet, the Active Shopper Network® is uniquely positioned to offer dealers real-time insights into who has started shopping, stopped shopping or continued shopping in the past 24 hours.

What a difference a few weeks makes. Although true in typical circumstances, this is specifically true navigating the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath. For months, we’ve been monitoring online shopping behavior, keeping a close eye on the number of shoppers entering and remaining in market. Memorial Day served as a catalyst for some encouraging shopper trends indicating demand may be ready to hold steady.

More people in the market is good news, and it comes with new challenges for dealers. As lower inventory levels impact dealerships in varying degrees, dealers need to know what demand exists for the vehicles remaining on their lots as they wait for factories to come back to full capacity later this summer. As dealers look to stock their lots with the right inventory from the growing supply of used vehicles, it is critical to know what vehicles are drawing the most attention from shoppers, new and used. Client Command’s Active Shopper Network® is uniquely positioned to deliver a real-time people-level pulse on automotive shopping behavior at the model level.

For nearly three months, supply and demand have been out of balance. Shopper demand was decimated by the impact of Covid-19 and dealers left with inventory to serve high-selling months. With states re-opening, aggressive financing offers set to expire and consumers recognizing disruptions to the supply chain, shopping is on the rise. As we move into the summer the pendulum is beginning to swing the other direction, making it essential for dealers to market with precision, identifying shoppers looking for a dealer’s exact inventory.

ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® – 2020 DAILY SHOPPING TRENDS (NATIONAL)

NEW Daily Active Shoppers (started shopping that day)

NEW DAILY ENTRANTS TRENDS: For the first time since February, the number of new shoppers entering the market is trending up at the start of the month. With a much anticipated boost from the Memorial Day, this is an indicator that shopper demand is safely in the recovery zone.

What does this mean? Today’s shopping is a leading indicator of future sales. Following an eight week drop off, momentum is underway for new daily entrants. This is a solid sign for sales in Q3, especially for those dealers most restricted during the first 60 days of the Covid-19 crisis. Dealers looking to make up some ground on a catastrophic April and marginal recovery in May are wise to get in front of these shoppers now to drive Q3 sales.

Year-Over-Year – Active Shopper Network® – Daily Shopping Trends (National)

ALL Daily Active Shoppers

YTD/YEAR OVER YEAR ACTIVE SHOPPER TRENDS

ALL SHOPPERS – TRENDS: Memorial Day provided a boost to overall shopping behavior mirroring seasonal trends of 2019. Shopping stabilized throughout the month of May with a slight uptick at the end of the month, heading in to June with a 15% overall shopping lag compared to 2019. More insights can be seen in the activity in the past 15 days.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior

The maps below offer a visual representation of how shopping has changed in a 15-day time frame at a state level. Dark blue indicates a negative market change (a loss of shoppers) of more than -11.7%. Green indicates a positive market change (increase in shoppers) of 5%. With the Southeast and Southwest leading the way, shopping activity has grown in every state over the past 15 days. Overall, the number of shoppers has increased 4%.

What does this mean? In the month of May, car sales began to rebound from the catastrophic April. Like car sales, shopping activity gained minor traction in May, closing the year-over-year gap by three percentage points.

MODEL-LEVEL SHOPPING DEMAND OFFERS INSIGHTS FOR DEALERS NAVIGATING INVENTORY SHORTAGE

OEMs are diligently working to scale up production while protecting employees from Covid-19. Supply-chain disruption varies by manufacturer and is expected to continue throughout the summer. Even if there is some return to normalcy in July, dealers in states with shorter stay-at-home restrictions are facing inventory shortages now.

Model level demand offers crucial insights as dealers find creative inventory solutions and begin to place factory orders. For example, as dealers look to trade with or buy vehicles from individuals within their 20 Group, the Active Shopper Network® shows that demand varies regionally and that not all demand is in the truck and SUV category.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior BY MODEL

Overall Shopping Activity

LAST 15 DAYS – ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® SHOPPING BEHAVIOR BY MODEL – RAM PICKUP

Ram — shopping up 7% in past 15 days!
Dealers across the country report sales being driven by trucks. Two of the three top selling trucks in 2019, Ram and Chevrolet’s Silverado are reporting upticks in shopping behavior across the country, except for sections of the West and mid-Atlantic.

How does that compare with other top-selling trucks?
Headlines about shortages of Ford’s F-150 seem to be impacting shopping activity, with this traditionally top-selling vehicle showing a 7% decrease in activity. Meanwhile, GMC Sierra and Toyota Tacoma also show shopping increases around 10% with pockets in states like Wyoming and Oregon where shopping demand has recently cooled.

 

LAST 15 DAYS – ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® SHOPPING BEHAVIOR BY MODEL – NISSAN ROGUE

Double digit shopper growth for Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V.
SUVs played a significant role in driving dealership sales during and coming out of Covid-19. Two of the three top selling SUVs in 2019, Nissan Rogue and Honda CR-V show double digit growth in shopping as we press into summer. While CR-V shopping has increased on similar levels across the country, shopping upticks for the Rogue are less consistent, with the greatest momentum in the South and Midwest.

How does that compare with other Top-selling SUVs?
Shopper demand appears to be lagging for some category front-runners. Shopping for the Toyota Rav4, the category top seller of 2019 and 4th most-selling vehicle so far in 2020, has fallen off 7% in early June. Meanwhile, shopping for popular models like Jeep Grand Cherokee and Chevrolet Equinox is flat with slight momentum in the Southwest.

 

LAST 15 DAYS – ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK® SHOPPING BEHAVIOR BY MODEL – HONDA CIVIC

Popular sedan shopping on the move in past two weeks – Honda Civic up 16%.
As factories re-open and prioritize building trucks and SUVs first, dealers are evaluating the cars on their lots. Long before Covid-19, car sales have been on the decline, but shopping activity shows demand is rebounding quickly for cars. Driven by 20%+ increases in shopper demand in the Southeast, shopping for Honda Civic is gaining momentum by double digits in every state.

How does that compare with other top-selling cars?
Led by the Toyota Camry, with shopping up 40% in early June, the three top selling models (Civic was #2) for 2019 are up double digits. Rounding out the top three, Nissan Altima is up 23%. Other sedans showing near double-digit growth include the Subaru Forester, Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic. A sedan that is losing traction is the Hyundai Elantra. Pacing ahead of the curve throughout the first few weeks of the Covid-19 pandemic due to Hyundai’s Assurance Job Loss Protection Program, shopping has fallen off 12% in early June.

 

MAKE PRECISION THE FOUNDATION OF YOUR SUMMER MARKETING STRATEGY

If inventory shortage is a challenge you are facing, our team is available to share daily insights and track changes in shopper demand by model in the past 15, 30, 45, 60, 90 and even 360 days. We’re here to equip you with the data you need to assess your market and understand shopper demand for your dealership.

When supply and demand are this out of balance, dealers must invest in real shoppers looking for the exact inventory on their lots. Now more than ever, dealers must build their marketing approach on precision. Together, we can navigate this next phase of the Covid-19 recovery.

MORE ABOUT THE ACTIVE SHOPPER NETWORK®

Client Command’s patented technology allows us to connect cookies and devices to shopper identity. The Active Shopper Network® monitors 90% of Internet connected devices across more than 61 billion URLs specific to automotive, including classified listing sites, dealership websites, OEM websites, automotive research sites, automotive Google searches and more. With a lens into online shopping activity across the entire Internet, the Active Shopper Network® is uniquely positioned to offer dealers real-time insights into who has started shopping, stopped shopping or continued shopping in the past 24 hours.