Market Pulse: State Re-opening Strategies and the Impact on Online Car Shopping

Chris Martin, Senior Vice President of Customer Development

Market Pulse: State Re-opening Strategies and the Impact on Online Car Shopping

Chris Martin, Senior Vice President of Customer Development

Market Pulse: State Re-opening Strategies and the Impact on Online Car Shopping

Chris Martin, Senior Vice President of Customer Development

Memorial Day traditionally marks the kick off of summer, and for dealerships, that typically means a jam-packed summer selling season. As America continues to re-open amidst Covid-19, all eyes are on consumer spending, pent-up demand and online car shopping activity to forecast dealership sales.

In times like these when information is changing by the day, the hour, even the minute, it’s critical for dealers to be making decisions and building forecasts for summer sales based on the freshest data available. Client Command’s Active Shopper Network® is uniquely positioned to deliver a real-time people-level pulse on automotive shopping behavior.

Recovery is Underway – Online Car Shopping Activity Stabilizes in Time for Summer 2020

Pent up demand. New buyer pools emerging. Cultural shifts from ride-share to owning a vehicle. Aggressive financing and incentives. Each of these realities induced by Covid-19 works to off-set downturns in consumer spending. Active Shopper Network® insights are leading indicators of some initial momentum to summer sales as dealerships offer at-home delivery and online alternatives to sales events.

Active Shopper Network® – 2020 Daily Shopping Trends (National)

NEW Daily Active Shoppers (started shopping that day)

NEW DAILY ENTRANTS TRENDS: Starting off the year with a surge, it is likely the new daily entrants that spiked in mid-January drove strong February sales. The average number of daily new entrants this month is a third of the January average.

What does this mean? New Daily entrants today drive demand for future sales. Even though the number has fallen off from the beginning of the year, the typical 4-6 week buying cycle for a new daily entrant offers some encouragement to dealers. There was a spike of new daily entrants in early March, followed by an immediate disruption to the typical buying journey. Covid-19 has extended the purchase time for these shoppers and many dealers are seeing surges upon re-opening from this pent-up demand.

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

ALL Daily Active Shoppers

ALL SHOPPERS – TRENDS: Following a month-long decline in April, overall shopping activity has remained stable throughout May and plateaued. The number of people actively shopping for a car online lags 2019 by 16% year-over-year.

What does this mean? The range of projections on total US car sales in 2020 is wide. Over the course of the last few weeks, sales projections from auto experts have ranged from a 15.3% decline to a 26.6% decline. Shopper activity has hovered at a 16-18% year-over-year decline for more than four weeks, aligning with the more conservative projections. No decline is good news for dealers, and what we know is that with fewer shoppers, there is greater pressure to deliver not only the price, but the experience that will bring shoppers to your dealership.

Online Shopping Activity Varies — States at Forefront of Re-Opening Trending Up

Dealers around the country first began seeing signs of hope at the end of April. For some states, that momentum continued into May as the federal stay-at-home guidelines expired and state by state, re-opening plans gradually commenced. Rebound can be seen at the local level. As national shopping activity lags 2019 16-18%, the Active Shopper Network® shows some areas rebounding over the past 15 days. In some cases, markets are trending at 2019 shopper levels.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior by State

Overall Shopping Activity

The map below offers 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%.

ALL SHOPPERS – STATE BY STATE TRENDS: Nationwide, shopping activity remained flat over the first 15 days of the month. In the Southeast, where re-opening measures were first implemented showed positive change in shopping activity across the region. Although not a direct correlation, many states among the first wave of re-opening are showing the first upticks in the number of shoppers.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior by Zip

Overall Shopping Activity

To see how online shopping recovery varies from state to state, the Active Shopper Network® drills in to specific market areas. The states chosen include two states in the first wave of the states moving to re-open and two states implementing regional re-opening mid-month. The market areas reflect varying sizes to compare activity in major metropolitan areas to medium sized cities.

TEXAS

Texas re-opened retail stores, movie theatres, malls and libraries at the beginning of May. The immediate uptick in shopping activity is more pronounced in the smaller metropolitan area. However, Covid-19’s impact on Dallas appears to be minimal, tracking with 2019’s total shoppers.

GEORGIA

Georgia was among the last states to implement a stay-at-home order and made headlines as the first to re-open. Nearly four weeks into its re-opening plan, shopping activity is pacing ahead of the national average.

NEW YORK

New York City remains the epicenter of the Covid-19 crisis in the US and will remain restricted thru early June. Portions of the state where re-opening measures were announced in mid-May, are lagging yearly trends by double-digits.

CALIFORNIA

California was the first state to issue a state-wide stay-at-home order yet a vast majority of dealerships remained open for what are typically their biggest selling months. The state itself began regional re-opening mid-May to a lagging market of shoppers.

Build Your Summer Strategy Based on Who is Shopping Today

Client Command wants to equip dealers with the data they need to assess the market and the demand in their backyard. Our team continues to connect with dealers and share zip-level insights like the ones above from the Active Shopper Network ® dashboard. We would be happy to set up a free consultation and add value to your business.

We cannot rely on traditional operations, sales events and data models to connect buyers with cars in a Covid-19 reality. But summer is here now and there are shoppers emerging. We can help reach these shoppers first.

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.

Memorial Day traditionally marks the kick off of summer, and for dealerships, that typically means a jam-packed summer selling season. As America continues to re-open amidst Covid-19, all eyes are on consumer spending, pent-up demand and online car shopping activity to forecast dealership sales.

In times like these when information is changing by the day, the hour, even the minute, it’s critical for dealers to be making decisions and building forecasts for summer sales based on the freshest data available. Client Command’s Active Shopper Network® is uniquely positioned to deliver a real-time people-level pulse on automotive shopping behavior.

Recovery is Underway – Online Car Shopping Activity Stabilizes in Time for Summer 2020

Pent up demand. New buyer pools emerging. Cultural shifts from ride-share to owning a vehicle. Aggressive financing and incentives. Each of these realities induced by Covid-19 works to off-set downturns in consumer spending. Active Shopper Network® insights are leading indicators of some initial momentum to summer sales as dealerships offer at-home delivery and online alternatives to sales events.

Active Shopper Network® – 2020 Daily Shopping Trends (National)

NEW Daily Active Shoppers (started shopping that day)

NEW DAILY ENTRANTS TRENDS: Starting off the year with a surge, it is likely the new daily entrants that spiked in mid-January drove strong February sales. The average number of daily new entrants this month is a third of the January average.

What does this mean? New Daily entrants today drive demand for future sales. Even though the number has fallen off from the beginning of the year, the typical 4-6 week buying cycle for a new daily entrant offers some encouragement to dealers. There was a spike of new daily entrants in early March, followed by an immediate disruption to the typical buying journey. Covid-19 has extended the purchase time for these shoppers and many dealers are seeing surges upon re-opening from this pent-up demand.

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

ALL Daily Active Shoppers

ALL SHOPPERS – TRENDS: Following a month-long decline in April, overall shopping activity has remained stable throughout May and plateaued. The number of people actively shopping for a car online lags 2019 by 16% year-over-year.

What does this mean? The range of projections on total US car sales in 2020 is wide. Over the course of the last few weeks, sales projections from auto experts have ranged from a 15.3% decline to a 26.6% decline. Shopper activity has hovered at a 16-18% year-over-year decline for more than four weeks, aligning with the more conservative projections. No decline is good news for dealers, and what we know is that with fewer shoppers, there is greater pressure to deliver not only the price, but the experience that will bring shoppers to your dealership.

Online Shopping Activity Varies — States at Forefront of Re-Opening Trending Up

Dealers around the country first began seeing signs of hope at the end of April. For some states, that momentum continued into May as the federal stay-at-home guidelines expired and state by state, re-opening plans gradually commenced. Rebound can be seen at the local level. As national shopping activity lags 2019 16-18%, the Active Shopper Network® shows some areas rebounding over the past 15 days. In some cases, markets are trending at 2019 shopper levels.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior by State

Overall Shopping Activity

The map below offers 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%.

ALL SHOPPERS – STATE BY STATE TRENDS: Nationwide, shopping activity remained flat over the first 15 days of the month. In the Southeast, where re-opening measures were first implemented showed positive change in shopping activity across the region. Although not a direct correlation, many states among the first wave of re-opening are showing the first upticks in the number of shoppers.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior by Zip

Overall Shopping Activity

To see how online shopping recovery varies from state to state, the Active Shopper Network® drills in to specific market areas. The states chosen include two states in the first wave of the states moving to re-open and two states implementing regional re-opening mid-month. The market areas reflect varying sizes to compare activity in major metropolitan areas to medium sized cities.

TEXAS

Texas re-opened retail stores, movie theatres, malls and libraries at the beginning of May. The immediate uptick in shopping activity is more pronounced in the smaller metropolitan area. However, Covid-19’s impact on Dallas appears to be minimal, tracking with 2019’s total shoppers.

GEORGIA

Georgia was among the last states to implement a stay-at-home order and made headlines as the first to re-open. Nearly four weeks into its re-opening plan, shopping activity is pacing ahead of the national average.

NEW YORK

New York City remains the epicenter of the Covid-19 crisis in the US and will remain restricted thru early June. Portions of the state where re-opening measures were announced in mid-May, are lagging yearly trends by double-digits.

CALIFORNIA

California was the first state to issue a state-wide stay-at-home order yet a vast majority of dealerships remained open for what are typically their biggest selling months. The state itself began regional re-opening mid-May to a lagging market of shoppers.

Build Your Summer Strategy Based on Who is Shopping Today

Client Command wants to equip dealers with the data they need to assess the market and the demand in their backyard. Our team continues to connect with dealers and share zip-level insights like the ones above from the Active Shopper Network ® dashboard. We would be happy to set up a free consultation and add value to your business.

We cannot rely on traditional operations, sales events and data models to connect buyers with cars in a Covid-19 reality. But summer is here now and there are shoppers emerging. We can help reach these shoppers first.

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.

Memorial Day traditionally marks the kick off of summer, and for dealerships, that typically means a jam-packed summer selling season. As America continues to re-open amidst Covid-19, all eyes are on consumer spending, pent-up demand and online car shopping activity to forecast dealership sales.

In times like these when information is changing by the day, the hour, even the minute, it’s critical for dealers to be making decisions and building forecasts for summer sales based on the freshest data available. Client Command’s Active Shopper Network® is uniquely positioned to deliver a real-time people-level pulse on automotive shopping behavior.

Recovery is Underway – Online Car Shopping Activity Stabilizes in Time for Summer 2020

Pent up demand. New buyer pools emerging. Cultural shifts from ride-share to owning a vehicle. Aggressive financing and incentives. Each of these realities induced by Covid-19 works to off-set downturns in consumer spending. Active Shopper Network® insights are leading indicators of some initial momentum to summer sales as dealerships offer at-home delivery and online alternatives to sales events.

Active Shopper Network® – 2020 Daily Shopping Trends (National)

NEW Daily Active Shoppers (started shopping that day)

NEW DAILY ENTRANTS TRENDS: Starting off the year with a surge, it is likely the new daily entrants that spiked in mid-January drove strong February sales. The average number of daily new entrants this month is a third of the January average.

What does this mean? New Daily entrants today drive demand for future sales. Even though the number has fallen off from the beginning of the year, the typical 4-6 week buying cycle for a new daily entrant offers some encouragement to dealers. There was a spike of new daily entrants in early March, followed by an immediate disruption to the typical buying journey. Covid-19 has extended the purchase time for these shoppers and many dealers are seeing surges upon re-opening from this pent-up demand.

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

ALL Daily Active Shoppers

ALL SHOPPERS – TRENDS: Following a month-long decline in April, overall shopping activity has remained stable throughout May and plateaued. The number of people actively shopping for a car online lags 2019 by 16% year-over-year.

What does this mean? The range of projections on total US car sales in 2020 is wide. Over the course of the last few weeks, sales projections from auto experts have ranged from a 15.3% decline to a 26.6% decline. Shopper activity has hovered at a 16-18% year-over-year decline for more than four weeks, aligning with the more conservative projections. No decline is good news for dealers, and what we know is that with fewer shoppers, there is greater pressure to deliver not only the price, but the experience that will bring shoppers to your dealership.

Online Shopping Activity Varies — States at Forefront of Re-Opening Trending Up

Dealers around the country first began seeing signs of hope at the end of April. For some states, that momentum continued into May as the federal stay-at-home guidelines expired and state by state, re-opening plans gradually commenced. Rebound can be seen at the local level. As national shopping activity lags 2019 16-18%, the Active Shopper Network® shows some areas rebounding over the past 15 days. In some cases, markets are trending at 2019 shopper levels.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior by State

Overall Shopping Activity

The map below offers 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%.

ALL SHOPPERS – STATE BY STATE TRENDS: Nationwide, shopping activity remained flat over the first 15 days of the month. In the Southeast, where re-opening measures were first implemented showed positive change in shopping activity across the region. Although not a direct correlation, many states among the first wave of re-opening are showing the first upticks in the number of shoppers.

Last 15 Days – Active Shopper Network® Shopping Behavior by Zip

Overall Shopping Activity

To see how online shopping recovery varies from state to state, the Active Shopper Network® drills in to specific market areas. The states chosen include two states in the first wave of the states moving to re-open and two states implementing regional re-opening mid-month. The market areas reflect varying sizes to compare activity in major metropolitan areas to medium sized cities.

TEXAS

Texas re-opened retail stores, movie theatres, malls and libraries at the beginning of May. The immediate uptick in shopping activity is more pronounced in the smaller metropolitan area. However, Covid-19’s impact on Dallas appears to be minimal, tracking with 2019’s total shoppers.

GEORGIA

Georgia was among the last states to implement a stay-at-home order and made headlines as the first to re-open. Nearly four weeks into its re-opening plan, shopping activity is pacing ahead of the national average.

NEW YORK

New York City remains the epicenter of the Covid-19 crisis in the US and will remain restricted thru early June. Portions of the state where re-opening measures were announced in mid-May, are lagging yearly trends by double-digits.

CALIFORNIA

California was the first state to issue a state-wide stay-at-home order yet a vast majority of dealerships remained open for what are typically their biggest selling months. The state itself began regional re-opening mid-May to a lagging market of shoppers.

Build Your Summer Strategy Based on Who is Shopping Today

Client Command wants to equip dealers with the data they need to assess the market and the demand in their backyard. Our team continues to connect with dealers and share zip-level insights like the ones above from the Active Shopper Network ® dashboard. We would be happy to set up a free consultation and add value to your business.

We cannot rely on traditional operations, sales events and data models to connect buyers with cars in a Covid-19 reality. But summer is here now and there are shoppers emerging. We can help reach these shoppers first.

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.