CHICAGO, March 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Cars.com™ (NYSE:CARS) announced today the launch of Cars Social, a new digital ad product that will help dealers attract more quality customers through social media. In addition, Cars.com indicated that at the 2018 National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show Expo in Las Vegas from March 23-25, the company will make available to its customers Conversations™, the first integrated Dealer Inspire product since the recent acquisition.
Cars Social enables automotive dealers to reach an unduplicated, unique audience of in-market Cars.com shoppers on Facebook and Instagram. By leveraging Cars.com's audience data, the product targets consumers on social media who previously researched inventory or expressed interest in similar vehicles in the market. A social ad with inventory imagery from local retailers is served to targeted consumers, redirecting shoppers to its corresponding Vehicle Details Page on Cars.com. The company also makes available to dealers a team of social media account managers to optimize campaigns and set up data feeds.
In initial beta testing, Cars.com learned Cars Social drives an 80 percent unique audience when compared to social campaigns modeled from a dealership's first-party website audience.¹
"We know millions of people across the country, including Cars.com shoppers, spend a significant amount of time on social platforms, and a smart use of social media advertising moves shoppers through the sales funnel," said Alex Vetter, president and chief executive officer at Cars.com. "We want to help dealers extend their reach and connect with these buyers wherever they shop."
Also available at NADA, Conversations is a managed chat solution built with artificial intelligence and synced with a dealership's inventory. According to recent data, Conversations turns more than 70 percent of chats into leads by letting car shoppers connect in a way that is most convenient for them.²
The Conversations platform, which was developed by Dealer Inspire to connect consumers with dealers, will now be integrated with Cars.com through a Conversations Starter™ package. All new incoming chats will be answered by an AI chatbot named "Ana." Ana saves dealerships time by greeting shoppers, answering their most frequently asked questions and even scheduling appointments. Whenever she is unsure how to answer a question, Ana instantly and politely transfers the customer to the dealership's team or DI's Managed Chat Call Center to expand on the response and capture the customer's information for the dealer.
"AI is the next frontier in automotive," said Vetter. "Cars.com intends to lead the industry by applying AI to create a smarter car shopping and selling experience for consumers and dealers. Conversations is the first AI chatbot that integrates seamlessly into a third-party site and a dealer website so that dealers can connect with consumers whenever and wherever they are shopping."
To demo the new Cars Social and Conversations products book an appointment online or visit Cars.com at NADA Show 2018 in booth #4515C in the Central Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Conversations will be given to select dealers at no additional charge. Please visit the Cars.com booth for more information.
Cars.com™ is a leading two-sided digital automotive marketplace that creates meaningful connections between buyers and sellers. Launched in 1998 and headquartered in Chicago, the company empowers consumers with resources and information to make informed buying decisions around The 4Ps of Automotive Marketing™: Product, Price, Place and Person, by connecting advertising partners with in-market car shoppers and providing data-driven intelligence to increase inventory turn and gain market share. A pioneer in online automotive classifieds, the company has evolved into one of the largest digital automotive platforms, connecting thousands of local dealers across the country with millions of consumers. Through trusted expert content, on-the-lot mobile features and intelligence, millions of new and used vehicle listings, a comprehensive set of pricing and research tools, and the largest database of consumer reviews in the industry, Cars.com is transforming the car shopping experience.
¹ Cars.com Internal testing, 11/19/2017-12/31/2017
² Dealer Inspire Internal Data, Dec 1, 2017 - Mar 1, 2018