Happy New Year! This Is The Final Post…

With each new year every business must assess it’s priorities, and our business is no different.   For a thoughtful list of reasons, we have decided to make this the last post to this blog.

Since February, 2011 this blog has covered the dealer chat space, sharing data and analysis each month as the adoption of chat software  grew from around 15% of auto dealers to over 40%.

During that period there were only two constants…growth in dealer adoption, and Contact At Once! as the vendor with leading market share.  It many respects, it was these two constants which drove our decision to focus resources elsewhere.

We can predict with confidence that dealer adoption will continue to grow, and that Contact At Once! will continue to lead in market share given their recent acquisition by LivePerson (Nasdaq: LPSN).

Whether we report the numbers each month or not, these truths seem evident, so we shall focus our resources elsewhere across the 100+ sites we manage.

For readers needing a numerical fix, there is a site called Datanyze that claims to have a crawler similar to ours, providing vendor market share data across a wide spectrum of software categories not limited to dealer chat.    Unlike this site which was founded on the principle of unbiased delivery of data and analysis, using a transparent methodology and without any possible conflicts of interest due to financial relationships with the vendors on which we reported, Datanyze has an aggressive business model targeting vendors as customers.  Thus, their data is for sale, and should not be viewed in the same way as the data from this site.  That said, Datanyze seemingly has an interesting business model and their data for chat vendors may prove helpful to our readers.

On behalf of the Dealer Chat Market Share team, I would like to sincerely thank our readers for their loyalty and the many interactions we’ve shared over the years.  We will continue to watch the dealer chat space with interest, and wish everyone a very happy new year!



Dealer Chat WOW! Automotive Market Leader Contact At Once! now a LivePerson Subsidiary

Although September and October crawl results showed nothing exciting, the news feed did.  On November 5th, LivePerson (Nasdaq: LPSN) announced that they acquired Contact at Once! for $65 million.  According to LivePerson, the entire Contact at Once! management team will remain in place, and the company will continue to operate under the Contact At Once! brand as a wholly owned subsidiary.


For readers new to this blog, Contact At Once! is the dominant market share leader in the North American Automotive Industry.  The rapid growth of the company has occurred simultaneous to the rapid adoption of chat solutions by auto dealers.  In fact, a strong argument can be made that the unique technology and business model of Contact At Once! has actually driven adoption across the industry to the benefit of all, including the many chat vendors riding their coat tails.  The most unique aspect of Contact At Once! is their now-patented technology for placing chat within ads on sites such as Autotrader.com, Cars.com, etc.   As those sites licensed and deployed the Contact At Once! software, it had the effect of making chat popular with car shoppers, and much more valuable to dealers.  Prior, dealers’ use of chat was limited to their own websites, thereby limiting the ROI it could provide.

LivePerson, ironically, is the worldwide market leading provider of chat for over 8,000 business websites.  Very few of those businesses are in automotive – our crawler has identified less than 50 dealer website URL’s on which LivePerson is deployed – so that may explain in part why they saw Contact At Once! as an attractive acquisition.

LivePerson was a chat pioneer and holds many important patents related to chat including, notably, several patents for predictive intelligence based on the monitoring of website visitor behavior and the presentation of relevant offers, or calls to action.  With this LivePerson technology and know-how, Contact At Once! seemingly has leap-frogged competitors such as Gubagoo who have touted their “behavioral” features as differentiating.

Dealer Chat Software Vendor Market Share – August 2014

August results are in.

Both Activengage and Gubagoo lost small bits of market share, while CarChat24 gained some.  The relative vendor rankings did not change, however, with Contact At Once! maintaining the leadership position as depicted in the chart below.

Dealer Chat Software Vendors

The “dog days of Summer” have historically been slower growth months for dealer chat software vendors.  Tune in next month to see if the pick up in September activity results in any market share changes among the dealer chat software vendors.

*  Note:  ActivEngage management has challenged the accuracy of our data.  Read more.

Dealer Chat Adoption And Vendor Market Share – June-July 2014

This is a two-for-one post, combining the quarterly adoption data through June, 2014 and the vendor market share data through July, 2014.

Dealer Adoption Trend

The adoption trend graph below shows the steady rise in chat software adoption by auto dealers as a function of time.


As of the end of June,  37.5% of of the roughly 34,000 dealership websites scanned had chat software deployed.  That number is up slightly versus a quarter ago, but the slope of the adoption curve flattened a bit because of something we mentioned in the previous post.  We recently added dealership URL’s to our crawler database  in order to increase the integrity of our adoption metrics and, although this practice is effective over the long haul, it causes the adoption curve to flatten in the short-term.

Vendor Market Share

There we no changes in relative vendor position during July, with Contact At Once! continuing to lead the pack.

All vendors showed positive momentum except for Gubagoo who lost market share (but not enough to fall out of 3rd place).   Gubagoo had ascended to fourth place roughly one year ago, then to third in early 2014 following the acquisition of Outsell’s direct chat business by Contact At Once!.   We’ll watch closely in the coming months to see if Gubagoo is able to regain momentum.  Stay tuned.


*  Note:  ActivEngage management has challenged the accuracy of our data.  Read more.


We help automotive professionals make informed decisions by providing factual data about the use of website chat to connect online shoppers with car dealers. Using an unbiased and transparent methodology, we measure how many dealers are using chat, as well as dealer chat vendor market share. We’ve also researched 3rd party and OEM websites to document which are leveraging chat technology to increase website conversion.