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Dealer.com Rolls Out Vehicle Showroom for Dealer Websites

April 14, 2008

Burlington, Vt. — Dealer.com, a provider of online marketing solutions for the automotive industry, announced the addition of Vehicle Showroom for automotive dealer Websites; a marketing solution that features CarFlix Virtual Test Drive videos, a video gallery for dealers’ inventory, and an online research center designed to keep car shoppers on dealer Websites longer. In a recent dealer study involving nearly 10,000 Internet shoppers, Dealer.com video tools were shown to increase lead submissions by as much as 87 percent.

Vehicle Showroom is a set of pages within a dealer’s Website that includes the same research tools that a car shopper would find on a manufacturer site, helping keep customers on the dealer site longer. Within every showroom, CarFlix Virtual Test Drive videos are featured, with customized content for each vehicle model.

“Dealers are realizing very quickly that they must compete on the Web with third-party sites for customers and this multimedia platform allows them to do so at little cost,” said Dean Evans, chief marketing officer of Dealer.com. “As fast as video is exploding on the Internet, in less than a year, if a dealership does not have video on its Website, most consumers will think of it as outdated as a black and white television.”

Fifty-nine percent of auto dealers say they plan to use Internet video on their own Websites during the next 12 months, up from the current 33 percent, according to a new study by The Kelsey Group, a provider of research, data and strategic analysis on local media, small-business advertising, mobile and vertical market advertising.

Dealer.com client Dennis Capio, Internet manager of DCH Millburn Audi in Maplewood, N.J., explained how his store benefits from using video on their site. “The advantage of personalized content is that the customer can get a sense of who they’re dealing with before going to the dealership. The ‘Meet Our Staff’ page on our site is a popular destination, with many staff members presented via video. I know that video is the way to go.”

Advantages of Vehicle Showroom featuring Dealer.com’s CarFlix Virtual Test Drive videos:

• Video is proven to generate more leads to your dealership. As the Internet landscape has evolved it has become increasingly interactive and difficult to keep consumers engaged. Video attracts a greater volume of online car shoppers, resulting in more leads.

• Video keeps customers on your site longer. According to Dealer.com studies, if a user watches one video on a vehicle, there is a 97 percent chance that they will watch two or three more videos. And, the longer a consumer spends on a Website, the more likely they are to submit a lead.

• Video helps emotionally engage customers with a vehicle. Video creates excitement. As a consumer watches a video on a vehicle of interest they become more emotionally engaged, which also increases the likelihood that they will submit a lead.

• Video allows branding and differentiation opportunities. The ability to provide a link to videos of vehicles in outgoing e-mails is a great way for dealerships to differentiate themselves to consumers who are shopping multiple stores. Enclosing a link also increases the likelihood of the customer visiting the Website.

• Videos provide an “always-on” sales pitch. No matter what time of day or night, videos allow dealers to present a professional and positive presence that is consistently good.

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