Edmunds.com To Launch Groupon-type Channel

by , Jun 10, 2011, 6:02 PM
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Edmunds

Cars aren't clothes, but online auto research and shopping site Edmunds.com is hoping Groupon and SocialLiving's daily deal model works in the world of big-ticket items. The Los Angeles-based company is launching a program, currently in beta in one market, called "Edmunds Exclusives." It will ultimately roll out nationally, offering geotargeted deals for new and used cars to consumers.

The company is piloting the program, which runs on a platform developed by full-service group buying and social commerce company Group Commerce, Inc., in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale. The program is set to roll out to other U.S. markets this summer.

Michelle Denogean, VP of business operations at Edmunds.com, tells Marketing Daily that the program gives people access to local deals directly at Edmunds.com, where people go when they are at the bottom of the purchase funnel and ready to buy. She says it gives automakers a topical sales ointment to treat inventory problem flare-ups that might not be responding to a more systemic treatment of national or regional incentives. A Groupon-type program for dealers and automakers, she adds, was bound to happen.

"It helps automakers and dealers who have excess inventory or oversupply of specific models, or have a need to get rid of the past model-year vehicles through additional discounts," she says. "So it is intended to be very targeted to areas that need that focused conversation around certain vehicles," she says.

The company, she said, had been considering a program like this for a while, "When the Daily Deal took off, it became clear that at some point someone would do this for cars. Why not Edmunds?"

The pilot version is offering invitations to visitors to Edmunds.com, and once the program launches in other markets, "we will be sending [consumers] direct offers through search strategies. Right now, we are slowly unveiling it because we are not officially launched until the middle of summer," says Denogean.

The company decided to start in South Florida because Miami is a mid-sized market and Edmunds has a presence on the ground there with Dealer Direct, "so we have a sales staff in that market," she says.

"Edmunds Exclusives" will offer cash-back, financing and leasing deals to people from dealers in their market. It may also expand to include deals on repairs and parts, maintenance and body shops, aftermarket audio dealers and auto broker services, per the company.

"It's [all about] where do you need to target sales and can we do it now in a time period to hit those targets." She says the offers will not be real-time, "but a lot of what happens in the auto industry is in a given month, where they are looking at sales targets."

2 comments on "Edmunds.com To Launch Groupon-type Channel ".

  1. Kris Adler from Luminosity Marketing
    commented on: June 13, 2011 at 9:41 a.m.

    While an online deal site for cars was bound to happen as the article points out, it is unclear how exactly the payment structure will be set up. Will you sign up and print out deals when you have an account? Or will you pay for the deal on the site? It is hard to imagine buying a car deal for $300 and getting $600 off when you go to the dealership. And usually car buyers visit multiple dealerships before they make a decision, so it is hard to see someone committing to a car purchase based on a car deal they bought.

    Kris Adler
    by Luminosity Marketing

    For more marketing insights, visit our blog at: http://luminositymarketing.com/blog/

  2. Therran Oliphant from xAd Inc.
    commented on: June 13, 2011 at 2:03 p.m.

    Kris, I would suspect that this would work differently. You probably sign up or raise your hand in some way. Apropos of the car industry, they want leads. Those vehicles will get sold if they get more conversations. The discount I'm sure happens on purchase.

    I think that this is a great idea. When I was a wholesaler, I would send emails out to dealers on all my expiring units and let them know that I was dropping the floor prices. This model works to gin up excitement. Good to see the classified auto sites getting into the game.

    Automotive Digital marketers can get the latest here - http://http://blog.polk.com/blog/blog-posts-by-therran-oliphant

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