Autobytel Launches Dealer Insights Series to Help Car Dealers Increase Sales to Today’s Online Consumers

  Autobytel Launches Dealer Insights Series to Help Car Dealers Increase Sales
  to Today’s Online Consumers

 Detailed reporting and training information, based on data from millions of
online car buyers matched to actual state vehicle registrations, helps dealers
              across the U.S. improve Internet sales operations.

Business Wire

IRVINE, Calif. -- June 10, 2013

Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL), the company dedicated to helping automotive
consumers and dealers connect online, today announced it has launched the
Autobytel Dealer Insights Series, a quarterly education program designed to
help dealers increase sales to today’s online consumers.

The information offered in the first of the Autobytel Dealer Insights Series
is backed by shopping trends and behavioral data from millions of online car
buyers matched to actual vehicle registrations in all 50 states from R.L. Polk
& Co. to shed light on what happens to automotive leads after they’ve been
submitted online.

“We initially partnered with R.L. Polk as part of our ongoing commitment to
lead quality, but when we dug into the data, we found some rather interesting
and surprising consumer trends,” said Scott Pechstein, VP of Sales for
Autobytel Inc. “We felt it was critically important for dealers to be aware of
these trends.”

The first collection of materials in this series (including five video
education sessions that feature Pechstein) is entitled Perception vs. Reality
of Internet Leads and offers a detailed analysis about these trends,
including:

1.  How and why today’s car buyers are much different than in generations
     past;
2.   How and why the online car buying process has changed in recent years;
3.   The propensity for consumers to buy a different brand than the brand for
     which they initially submitted an Internet lead;
     The propensity for consumers to buy a used car after they’ve submitted a
4.   new car lead, or to buy a new car after they’ve submitted a used car
     lead; and
     Important advice, based on this data, about how dealers can best meet the
5.   needs of today’s online car buyers and modify their Internet processes to
     enhance their sales results.

Following are just some of the important statistics^* contained in this
series:

  *Of the consumers who submitted a new car purchase request and bought,
    54.4% bought a different brand (new or used).
  *Of the consumers who submitted a used car purchase request and bought,
    53.6% bought a different brand (new or used).
  *Of the consumers who submitted a new car purchase request and bought,
    41.9% bought used (any make).
  *Of the consumers who submitted a used car purchase request and bought,
    20.7% bought new (any make).
  *As Internet leads age beyond 30 days, the propensity for consumers to
    defect to another brand—or to defect from a new car to a used
    car—increases significantly.

Following are several important tips from the series, to help dealers enhance
their Internet sales operations:

     Since today’s car buyers are prone to considering many brands, dealers
     should communicate the significant benefits of their brand in addition to
1)  communicating the benefits of their store (i.e. industry awards and
     accolades, manufacturer maintenance/warranty/roadside assistance
     programs, etc.).
     
     Since today’s car buyers are prone to switching from new to used, or from
     used to new, dealers should communicate to customers other vehicle
2)   options—in addition to information about the vehicle of interest—such as
     comparable same-brand new models, comparable CPO cars and/or a link to
     the dealership’s used car inventory page (featuring their brand and other
     brands).
     
     Since today’s new car buyers are more prone to switch to used cars as
3)   Internet leads age past 30 days, dealers should modify their
     communication strategy to place more emphasis on used options as the lead
     ages.

This first collection in the series also highlights information contained in
“Lost Sales Reports” provided to dealers who are part of the Autobytel
program. These reports highlight Autobytel Internet lead data specific to
their dealerships and to their market areas, and which brands or types of
vehicles people ultimately bought and from whom, to help dealers optimize
their sales and marketing efforts.

“Essentially, some of the perceptions dealers have about Internet leads are
much different than reality,” said Pechstein. “Knowing the cars people
ultimately buy and from whom, once an online purchase request has been
submitted, enables us to provide insight to help dealers get customers into
their stores and driving away in their cars.”

The Autobytel Dealer Insights Series videos are available at
http://dealer.autobytel.com/dealer-training.

^*Autobytel Internet Lead data and R.L. Polk & Co. Vehicle Registration data:
Analysis from Q1 – Q3, 2012.

About Autobytel Inc.
Autobytel Inc., an online leader offering consumer purchase requests, or
leads, and marketing resources to car dealers and manufacturers and providing
consumers with the information they need to purchase new and used cars,
pioneered the automotive Internet when it launched its flagship website,
www.autobytel.com, in 1995. Autobytel continues to offer innovative products
and services to help consumers buy, and auto dealers and manufacturers sell,
more used and new cars. Autobytel has helped tens of millions of automotive
consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with
motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand
online. Through its flagship website, network of automotive sites and
respected online affiliates, Autobytel continues its dedication to innovating
the industry’s highest quality Internet programs to provide consumers with a
comprehensive and positive automotive research and purchasing experience, and
auto dealers, dealer groups and auto manufacturers with some of the industry’s
most productive and cost-effective customer referral and marketing programs.

Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and
invitations to special events by accessing the online registration form at
investor.autobytel.com/alerts.cfm.

Contact:

Autobytel Inc. Media Relations
Splash Media
Jennifer Lange
949-916-4820
jlange@getsplashmedia.com
or
Autobytel Inc. Investor Relations
Curtis DeWalt
Chief Financial Officer
949-437-4694
curtisd@autobytel.com
or
PondelWilkinson Inc.
Roger Pondel/Laurie Berman
310-279-5980
investor@pondel.com