DONNA HARRIS

Why dealers should join Cyber Monday mania

Donna Harris covers automotive retailing for Automotive News.
The National Retail Federation reports that Cyber Monday -- today -- is now a staple retail event, with 88 percent of retailers offering a special online deal the Monday after Thanksgiving.

Industry research also suggests that at least two-thirds of the used-vehicle buyers and about 90 percent of the new-vehicle buyers use the Internet to shop for autos.

But when I search online for “Cyber Monday” and “car dealers” using both Google and Bing, only two car dealers and one dealer ad group appeared in my search results -- Acton Toyota in suburban Boston; Suzuki Cars of McKinney, Texas; and the Iowa Chevrolet Dealers’ group “Sign and Drive” promotion.

I checked the Web sites of the larger car dealership groups that place an emphasis on Internet car sales, such as AutoNationDirect.com, and saw no Cyber Monday promotions.

Granted, I didn’t do an exhaustive online search. There have got to be more car dealers out in cyberspace promoting this big shopping day. But if dealers were promoting as heavily as the rest of the retailers, it shouldn’t take all that long to find them.

The prospects are online, so why aren’t the car dealers meeting them there with deals?

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