Imagine being suddenly put in charge of a store. You want to host a sales event to attract new and existing customers, but you have no idea which inventory has been sitting on the shelf or which products sell well. Without additional data, determining the best discounts and making informed pricing decisions becomes nearly impossible. Historical data can offer valuable insights, but the most effective decision-making also considers recommendations from brands, data about individual products, the industry the store serves, and what competitors are offering.

While automotive dealers in the U.S. market are not operating completely in the dark, this scenario is somewhat familiar to them. To compete, they rely on having the most up-to-date rebate and incentive information from OEMs and lenders to position their vehicles competitively in the market. This data becomes even more critical for pricing and payment decisions as consumers face affordability challenges due to high interest rates and large negative equity , putting dealerships under pressure to make rapid pricing decisions as supply begins to outstrip demand.

Up-to-Date Data for Incentive and Rebate Planning

For OEMs and lenders, examining which vehicles have historically sold and which tend to sit may be the first, most obvious solution for incentive and rebate planning. While this provides valuable information and a good starting point, historical data only paints part of the picture. Learning how specific makes and models are selling at a market level helps brands understand which combinations of available rebates and incentives are best suited for their customers. Leveraging additional data that considers competitor payments within specific geolocations further improves understanding of consumer expectations and helps brands make the best decisions concerning which incentives should be offered to present customers with the best possible payment.

Those who can most effectively use all available data can design targeted, timely incentive and rebate programs that align with local consumers’ purchasing decisions. With this up-to-date data, they can assess their competitive position and price for each model variant in any market, adjusting for the right mix of rebates, incentives, rates, residual values and acquisition fees as they work to drive sales.

Building Customer Trust with Transparent, Precise Pricing

This work doesn’t stop with payment analytics. Manufacturers should also leverage digital retailing tools that integrate the latest lender and sales program data to help customers search for vehicles across their dealer network and present all possible vehicle-payment combinations that meet their monthly budget and specific needs. Online shopping tools should display an all-inclusive vehicle price and monthly payment after all applicable incentives, rebates, taxes and fees have been applied, increasing pricing transparency and improving the sales experience.

The more that OEMs, lenders and dealers can work together to replicate the customer experience provided by companies such as Apple and Amazon, the more they will be able to outshine competitors and remain relevant as disruptor brands enter the market.

How Analytics Tools Can Help Streamline Incentive Planning

Finding and using all this information requires the aggregation and interpretation of billions of data points. It’s impossible for brands to find and analyze all this information on their own, much less continually process and analyze data to inform decision-making—especially in an environment where pricing decisions must be made quicker than ever to remain competitive.

At Market Scan, we’re working to fill this gap with our recently announced Incentives Monitor solution, which offers web-based analytics to help OEMs and lenders comprehend and navigate automotive market conditions. This solution will gather and present actionable insights at a granular level to help brands make smarter spending decisions and save incentive planners’ time analyzing competitive positioning every month. Future tools may enable users to evaluate how changes in price positioning will impact sales and profitability, taking into account past and present changes in sales, pricing, incentives, inventory and loyalty.

With immediate access to vehicle payments and incentive programs, and data that encompasses an array of new vehicles across more than 100 lenders and 66 of the most important markets at a ZIP-code level, the tool also keeps users informed of significant changes in payments so they can respond to market dynamics. At the same time, OEMs and lenders can compare payments against key competitors, helping them make informed and efficient payment adjustments and tailor their strategies to specific market segments and customer profiles.

Interpreting the wealth of payment and incentive data available to OEMs and lenders can feel overwhelming, but with the right tools in place, it doesn’t have to be. Book a demo today to see how Market Scan can help you save valuable time and resources while delivering the most up-to-date analytics for your team’s rebate and incentive planning.