CHICAGO, Jan. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading automotive digital solutions provider Cars.com™ (NYSE: CARS) announced today the launch of a suite of digital retailing tools that gets car shoppers one step away from purchase, so they can show up at a dealership and sign on the dotted line with speed and efficiency. Why should dealers care? The new tools can generate higher quality and quantity leads from Cars.com, more qualified leads from dealer websites and a more robust funnel of ready-to-buy consumers (up to 4 times more) from social media.1 In addition, these car buyers are more likely to make a purchase in under 60 days—a higher conversion rate means more sales.2 The new solutions, in addition to the company's fastest-selling social selling products and innovative reputation management tools, will be showcased at the 2019 National Automobile Dealer Association Show (NADA) January 25-27 in San Francisco.
"Our goal is to equip our dealer partners with emerging technology and insights tools that ultimately help grow their business. The integration between Cars.com, Dealer Inspire and DealerRater delivers unprecedented value for dealers. It is an unbeatable combination in our industry," said Alex Vetter, chief executive officer of Cars.com. "Today's car shoppers want to shop on their terms. More and more want to complete as much of the purchase as they can online, before they ever step foot into a dealership. Our suite of digital retail solutions is designed to give shoppers the flexibility they want, while streamlining the process for our dealer partners with improved understanding of who their customers are, and what matters to them."
As Cars.com continues expanding beyond listings to a full-service digital solutions provider, its portfolio of companies and technology has rapidly expanded this year to help dealers get ahead of three trends dominating the auto industry:
- Digital Retailing: As an increasing number of consumers want to complete more of the purchase process online, Cars.com and Dealer Inspire will debut for the first time at NADA 2019 a suite of digital retailing solutions that offer an option for every type of dealer. "Online Shopper on Cars.com" provides consumers with advanced payment options, resulting in higher intent, higher quality and faster-to-close leads for dealers. Early testing revealed that when a consumer engages with the product, dealers receive trade-in details, estimated credit score, average miles driven per year, desired payment range and more 60 percent of the time.3 In addition to Dealer Inspire's original end-to-end digital retailing solution, "Online Shopper: Redline™," which can seamlessly integrate into virtually any website provider in 24 hours, on average. After turning on Online Shopper Redline, dealers report seeing up to two to three times more qualified leads, on average, to dealer websites.4 The company will also unveil at NADA 2019 its new "Online Shopper: Electric." The enhanced solution easily plugs into a dealer's website and showroom, allowing shoppers to save, customize and compare multiple deals. A new "Garage" feature allows car buyers to customize and compare deals across multiple vehicles and check out in three easy steps from anywhere.
- Social Selling: As social selling becomes increasingly important for the auto category, Cars.com will reveal at NADA 2019 an enhanced version of Cars Social, its social selling solution that serves native ads displaying real-time inventory to Cars.com's 80 percent unique, unduplicated audience on Facebook and Instagram.5 The updated solution gives dealers access to car shoppers on social media and delivers 4x more qualified leads.6 With growing popularity of Cars.com's Social Sales Drive solution, the company is now the No. 1 provider of listings on Facebook Marketplace, helping to connect dealers with social car shoppers. Since its national launch in August 2018, Social Sales Drive has driven more than 218,000 conversations between buyers and sellers and delivers a nearly 40 percent chat to lead conversion rate.7
- Reputation Management: Cars.com and DealerRater together make up the largest, most trusted review platform in the industry with 6 million consumer reviews. Salesperson Connect, a DealerRater solution on Cars.com that connects shoppers directly with salespeople and allows dealership employees to create profiles and collect reviews, results in an average 89 percent higher closing rate and leads that close 15 percent faster.8 Salesperson Connect will be integrated into Online Shopper on Cars.com in the coming months to deliver even more value to dealers and shoppers. Dealers can integrate the solution onto their own websites with DealerRater Connections, available in booth at NADA 2019.
To learn more about Cars.com's integrated solutions, visit GrowWithCars.com or visit the Cars.com/Dealer Inspire/DealerRater booth #2311S in the South Hall of the Moscone Center at the 2019 NADA Show in San Francisco from January 25-27.
Cars.com™ is a leading two-sided digital solutions 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 and enables advertising partners with innovative digital solutions and 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. In 2018, Cars.com acquired Dealer Inspire®, an innovative technology company building solutions that future-proof dealerships with more efficient operations, a faster and easier car buying process, and connected digital experiences that sell and service more vehicles.
Cars.com properties include DealerRater®, Dealer Inspire®, Auto.com™, PickupTrucks.com® and NewCars.com®. For more information, visit www.Cars.com.
1Cars.com testing metrics, December 2018
2Based on Q4 2018 internal Cars.com data
3Cars.com testing metrics from two pre-post analysis tests and one a/b test, November 28, 2018 – January 8, 2019
4Based on 2018 Dealer Inspire internal data from a test group of dealers 90 days after a dealer is turned on to the Online Shopper: Redline product vs. the 90 days prior.
5Cars.com internal testing November 2017-December 2017
6Cars.com testing metrics, December 2018
7Cars.com internal data, September 2018
8Pilot metrics from 39 DealerRater customers July 12-December 31, 2017