TechBytes with Neil Sweeney, Founder and CEO at Freckle

TechBytes with Neil Sweeney, Founder & CEO at Freckle
TechBytes with Neil Sweeney, Founder & CEO at Freckle

What are the key takeaways from Freckle and Killi’s Q1 2019 Footfall Report of U.S. Automotive Buyers?

Because we combine survey data from Killi with our robust Footfall results from Freckle, we are able to see true purchase intent and preferences for U.S. Automotive Buyers in our quarterly Path to Purchase Footfall Reports. Among the topline findings are:

  • Buyers still prefer to stay close to home when making automotive purchases, with around 70% traveling less than 20 miles from home to visit a dealership
  • Most car buyers spend only 5-30 minutes in the dealership
  • Friday is still the most popular day for consumers to visit the dealership with the prime time for sales on Friday being between 1-3 p.m.
  • The worst days to push ad spend is Sunday; followed closely by Saturday
  • When it comes to messaging to buyers, some points stand out more than others
  • Dealers need to be careful with the focus of their messaging as consumers are cautious about their data and how it might be used with Autonomous Vehicles
  • The number one priority for buyers is price and reliability above other features
  • The average consumer is visiting 5+ dealerships before buying
  • Online advertising still ranks as the most persuasive way to influence buyers, but there isn’t one specific feature catalyst for consumers to buy a particular car
  • Promos don’t draw consumers to buy

Readers interested in downloading the Freckle and Killi Q1 2019 Footfall Report of U.S. Automotive Buyers to review findings in closer detail, may do so here.

How was this report compiled? What is the frequency and purpose of this research? Can you explain to our readers?

The Path to Purchase report is essential for the automotive market to obtain key quarterly insights into automotive purchase behavior among U.S. consumers. Each report is compiled from research conducted by physically monitoring over 20,000 auto dealerships in the U.S. and through surveys from engaged Killi users. With Freckle’s proprietary dwell logic and deduplication tools, we remove employees, couriers and unconfirmed visitors to deliver a high level of confidence scoring for visits.

The surveys were sent to more than 10,000 Killi users over a 30-day period to answer specific automotive shopping preferences. Each quarterly report is available in both the U.S. and Canada and includes insights on consumer location visits, how customers interact with dealerships when purchasing a car, the best days to buy, automotive advertising preferences, and more.

What was the biggest surprise you saw in this report, and why?

I think a few things stand out that might be a surprise for automotive dealers and one finding is that customers are starting to think about their data privacy as it relates to automotive purchases. Because of our leadership position with the first-party data product Killi, we are well-aware of the consumer focus on protecting their data. But, with the rise of autonomous car technology and more data points within the digital footprint of cars it is a very important message point that auto dealers need to consider in their advertising. Also, our data shows that customers are only spending about 5-30 minutes in a dealership so having additional customer data such as footfall reporting to understand what the customer may be doing before and after visiting a dealership are critical for remarketing and growing market share by acquiring customers from a competitive dealership.

Did this research feature any regional distinctions, including dealer-specific data?

In earlier reports, we did regional cuts and that is a common output of our reporting for customers. We are already planning our report for Q2 2019 and plan on not only including regional details but also including the activity by automotive brands as well as by categories such as luxury.

How long has Freckle/Killi been conducting this research?

We’ve been delivering footfall reporting services for customers for over two years–and specifically for automotive customers since Freckle was established. This specific report was launched in the Canadian market and covered Q3 2018 and the U.S. market followed in Q4 2018. And, as I mentioned above we are planning to include specific brand and competitive details in our next report, which is slated to release in early Q3 2019.

Neil Sweeney Founded and serves as CEO of Freckle IoT, a global data company specializing in media measurement and identity. Neil is the Chief Architect of the Strategy and Culture at both Freckle and Killi. Neil is also the entrepreneur in residence at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, the world’s most technically advanced facility in creating assistive technologies and treatments to enhance the lives of the elderly and those with a disabling injury or illness.

Neil holds an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and works from New York, when he is not home in Toronto with his wife and two children.

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Freckle, powered by the people of Killi, offers privacy-compliant data and agnostic measurement for brands to build deeper relationships with their consumers. Freckle is a global data company specializing in media measurement and identity. The Freckle offline media measurement solution determines the effectiveness of media across all channels in driving customers to a targeted physical location.

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