An awkward little secret lies behind the spike in calls and Internet sales leads that dealers get on Monday and Tuesday. It results from employees car shopping on company time.
Business hours early in the week are the most active for Internet car shopping, said David Winter, a vice president at Cobalt, a provider of digital marketing services.
Winter theorizes that people who shopped on Saturday and Sunday make up their minds by Monday.
Cobalt monitors the shopping behavior of millions of visitors annually to automotive Web sites. During one week in March, Cobalt saw 12,000 online leads left at dealerships on Monday, up from 7,000 the previous day. Leads are generated when a car shopper leaves contact information for a dealership.
Dealerships are making changes to accommodate the Monday flurry. For example, Pat Hayes, e-commerce director at Marc Heitz Chevrolet in Norman, Okla., says the store requires salespeople to wrap up their daily phone solicitations by 1 p.m. on Mondays so the rest of the day can be spent delivering speedy responses to the flood of Internet queries.