Adding VIN Numbers & Prices To Your Google Analytics

I’ve always scraped VINS, Stock Numbers, prices and other metrics for car dealers because I knew sooner or later they will ask me questions about a particular vehicle. I would just send it to analytics as an event.

Last weekend one of my clients called me and said he wanted to start paying attention to price changes for every vehicle.

I already have the data, but it’s hard to report on different event actions on the same table.

After thinking about it, I decided to send these to Google Analytics as custom dimensions because it would be easier to study and report.

Now we can study patterns during each visible price and learn what type of impact price changes bring. We can sort by VIN, user ID, GEO , etc…

A simple search box can be added allowing search by VIN or even stock number.

When you add custom dimensions, it doesn’t go back in time. I enabled these on January 12th.

Now let’s look at this one user:

This is the definition of a quality visitor. I really wish I could go back to November 10th so I can see this user’s entire history.

Whenever I look at things like this, I always think audience. This user is obviously searching for a 3/4 ton or a one ton pickup truck.

Note the time stamps? He or she did some browsing on January 12th, then came back an hour later.

Then 4 days later, he or she clicked from AutoTrader. If I was still selling cars and this person called me, I would be ready for him if he showed up. I know what vehicles they engaged in, and I know the prices they were engaged in.

This shopper would be added to your Used Truck audience and you could run a custom intent audience following shoppers who search for “used F-250” and / or “Used Super Duty” and many other possibilities.

Here’s an example of a price shopper:

This user looks torn between a truck or a small SUV, but I think they are more of a price shopper. I would add this user to the “under $15K” audience.

You can take advantage for this for new vehicles as well. I found the intent of Ford Rangers by accident when I was looking at engaged new make models.

Ford Dealers Should Be Ready To Announce When The New Ford Ranger Arrives

There’s been a lot of intent since the “in transit” Ford Rangers hit the websites. Now is the time to start building these audiences. Then the day they come in you can enable the campaign. You need 100 users to launch an audience. In this case, we are half way there and we will have the hundred on Thursday. We’ll be ready.

Null indicates no special price in this case. Looking for other nulls will help you find pricing errors. This is why you should only fire the custom dimensions on VDPs. If you fire it on every page, you will get a null from every single page that isn’t a Vehicle Detail Page.

More Custom Dimensions:

I added a custom dimension that reads the Google Cookie and passes along the source of the first visit combined with the first visit date. I’m really looking forward to seeing this data come rolling in.

I looked at one of the cpc calls and the person called from an oil change page, so this would be thought of as a service customer. But wait! After they called, they started looking at used SUVs and one new SUV. I can even see how they sorted on the SRPs. I would be all over this person, and this is why a good salesperson hangs out in the service lobby. I was a terrible sales person, but I got many deals this way.

This is very valuable because it’ll show you how long people shop for vehicles and it will help you rethink your search campaign strategies. So instead of paying $14.00 for one visitor you can get 14 similar shoppers for the same price by using a custom audience.