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Measuring Dealership Foot Traffic to Sell More Vehicles

Published May 18, 2021, 04:30 PM by Environics Analytics
More automotive marketers are looking to mobile movement data to better understand their own dealership traffic and that of their competitors


Access to dealership foot traffic data helps automotive marketers and dealers get a better sense of what is happening further up the sales funnel. Historically getting a read on these data was difficult. Traditional methods like people counters, intercept surveys, or a network-wide implementation of Wi-Fi beacon technology proved cumbersome, expensive, inaccessible or a combination. And these methods did not help to understand what the competitive dealerships were up to. 

This is no longer the case.

Real-time access to mobile movement data has alleviated many of the barriers automotive marketers and analysts have faced in better understanding their own dealership traffic and their competitors.


Measure dealership foot-traffic and visitation patterns in real-time

Smartphones emit pings that share the device geolocation wherever their owner carries them. That means that millions of anonymized devices and their respective locations can be captured on any given day, week, month or year. Device locations are then tied back to a specific geolocation, often a relatively small area like a golf course, shopping centre or, in this case, an automotive dealership. 

These data, referred to as mobile movement data, can be used to help marketers and analysts understand dealership foot traffic and visitation patterns. In the automotive world, marketers can gain insight into the volume of foot traffic visiting specific dealership locations and competitor dealership locations and answer important questions like:


  • How does my dealership traffic change over time?
  • How does my dealership traffic compare to my key competitors’ traffic? How loyal are they?
  • What is my closing ratio (i.e., how does foot traffic relate to sales)?
  • Who is visiting my dealership, what are their key demographics and where are they coming from? How does it compare to my competitors?


While it can sound very “big brother” and may raise an eyebrow to privacy concerns, the analytics world is quickly adopting mobile movement data that is privacy compliant and anonymized. Attention to privacy governance and compliance is where Environics Analytics excels. 


Example 1: Weekly Dealership Visitor Traffic Visualization for a Luxury Automotive Brand

The example below depicts weekly visitor foot traffic counts at all dealerships for a luxury auto brand in Canada, using MobileScapes data. In this example, we can readily identify changes in dealership traffic year-over-year and week-over-week to identify the impact of campaigns being run, offers in market, or in this case the COVID-19 pandemic.



Because Environics Analytics’ mobile movement data is directly linked to the PRIZM® segmentation system, we can identify which audiences were impacted the most and which audiences may continue to be an opportunity for targeting.  

    Mobile movement data for the automotive industry

    If you work in automotive marketing, access to near real-time mobile movement data can be an important layer to several marketing activities. One of the most significant advantages is providing the flexibility to adjust marketing and sales strategies and tactics in time to influence consumer behaviour as quickly as possible.

    Here are five ways mobile movement data benefit automotive dealers: 


    Enhance traditional market share tracking or brand studies. Incorporate data insights on your actual customer behaviours, not just claimed consideration or purchase intent, to better predict pre-sales interest levels.  

    Customize tracking periods down to the day. The real-time nature of mobile movement data allows for customized tracking on any given time period. Easily set up pre and post-marketing campaign measurements for your auto brand as well as competitive brands.

    Optimize in-flight campaigns. Adjust digital marketing campaigns based on real-time competitive insights.

    Improve sales forecasting. Get a better sense of what is happening further up the sales funnel at your dealership and competitive dealerships. Understand what promotional offers are most effective at driving foot traffic.

    See what competitive dealerships are doing. New vehicle launches can generate significant interest. Monitor the competition to assess overall consumer response and interest. 


      Which of your potential customers are visiting other auto brands?

      Dealership foot-traffic data can be a great indicator of loyalty and potential risk depending on the size of the audience that is visiting other brands.


      Example 2: Cross-shop Visualization for Key Auto Brands

      The chart below breaks down “exclusive visitors,” defined as single-brand visitors and “non-exclusive visitors,” defined as people who visited multiple brand dealerships in the past year. Mobile movement data allows us to identify which other brands are attracting “non-exclusive visitors.” In this example, we can see that 68% of people that visited an Infiniti Dealership also visited another brand; the top 3 being BMW, Porsche and Volvo. What makes this powerful is that this type of analysis can be done for any time period and within any market in Canada, down to the dealership level and connected to psychographic and segmentation data for additional insight into audience behaviours. 

      Cross-shop Visualization for Key Auto Brands

      Mobile analytics to sell more vehicles

      The automobile industry can get a more precise view of foot traffic to dealerships across the country to be more responsive in marketing and sales efforts, and to keep ahead of the competition. The analytics solutions are scalable and can be customized to the needs of the business. Best to start with something that can be easily integrated within the existing analytic toolkit. If unsure, it’s definitely worth taking a test drive.

      For more information about data for automotive marketing or to better understand your dealership foot traffic, get in touch

      Environics Analytics is a leader in the mobile movement analytics space. MobileScapes offers the largest sample of mobile movement data in Canada, captured from millions of anonymized devices and measurable within any given time period. 


      Related Content

      Data Analytics for the Automotive Sector

      Environics Analytics Captures a Variety of COVID-19-Related-Data

      Why PRIZM® Customer Segmentation Matters


      PRIZM is a registered trademark of Claritas, LLC.


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