The In Car Experts (ICE) marketing/buying group said it will announce 4 to 6 new vendor partners over the coming weeks.
The near $300 million group with 150 retail members says it is also adding about 5 new retailer members a month.
As in the past, ICE says its members are bucking the trend in autosound. “The majority of our guys are up in the single digits and there are some up by double digits,” says ICE exec director Rob Elliott.
The results have a lot to do with the 6 figures in online advertising ICE spends to drive traffic to its web site.
The site qualifies buyers, deliberately tries to weed out lowest-price shoppers and tire kickers and sends the resulting leads to local store-members. Over 35 percent of the leads convert to a sale.
“Some consider the audience for our type of retailer anyone who owns a car. For us, we consider it someone who is looking to buy quality product that’s better than good enough and is worrying about the quality of the installation,” said Elliott.
Generating the leads is the heart of the group’s marketing strategy. The web site also has a “live chat” staff so consumers can ask real time questions. ICE also hosts live chat for 140 of its members’ sites.
A new TV commercial for members will also launch in the next two weeks focusing on “upping the cool factor of your car.”