ATLANTA — A pilot program designed to harness the power of AI to create a personalized shopping and buying experience for dealers in the Manheim Marketplace is paying off with higher conversion rates, the company announced. The program looks at buyers’ historic activity, recognizes their individual preferences and then recommends relevant inventory to them. With these vehicle recommendations, dealers shopping the Manheim Marketplace can make faster and smarter purchase decisions, said Dr. Ben Flusberg, associate vice president of Decision Support at Cox Automotive.
“With the wide usage of sites like Amazon and Netflix, people are used to seeing personalized recommendations and even expect it,” Flusberg said. “We’re bringing this capability to the wholesale market to help dealers quickly and easily find the right inventory and make faster decisions, which are core to Manheim’s mission.”
Using a variety of supervised and unsupervised machine learning techniques, Cox Automotive’s Data Solutions group built an AI-driven vehicle recommendation engine that “learns on its own and improves over time.” The technology evaluates a specific dealer’s historical buying and bidding patterns across a wide set of vehicle and market attributes and then scores available Manheim inventory against the dealer’s profile. When generating recommendations, Manheim’s algorithm accounts for dealer preferences across vehicle age, make, model, mileage, condition, seller segment and more, along with a variety of geographic and market factors, all according to the announcement.
Manheim has been piloting this new solution throughout 2018, so far emailing personalized vehicle recommendations to more than 15,000 dealers. Starting in early 2019, dealers will be able to see their personalized recommendations by logging on to Manheim.com. Executives said customers who viewed Manheim’s recommendations have been three times more likely to buy the recommended vehicles and have increased their buying activity by more than 10%.
“This is a great example of how we’re bringing together the best of our technology and data resources to give dealers a real, usable solution that will make it easier for them to buy the right vehicles,” said Ed Berkowitz, vice president of Product Management at Cox Automotive. “With the success of the pilot, we’re excited to make this modern experience available to dealers directly within the Manheim Marketplace.”