As the auto industry continues to navigate challenges posed by Covid-19, more and more car shoppers are turning to digital tools and resources for safer car shopping. Online financing, in particular, has become critical to dealership success. From January 2020 to September 2020, we saw a 78% increase in Pre-Qualified Leads1 on CarGurus, leading us to further invest in shopper education around the value of online financing and promotion of our Finance in Advance feature. This trend also aligns with recent consumer sentiment, with 52% of car shoppers saying that they now prefer financing online (compared to only 36% pre-pandemic).2 Beyond the obvious safety reasons, shoppers’ increased openness to financing online is also a result of their desire to save time and feel more financially prepared.
A dealership’s online presence is pivotal to attracting and retaining potential customers but waiting for business to come to you through a static website doesn’t let you realize your full potential. There are many more digital tools at a dealer’s disposal, and learning which methods are most effective and underused in your local market can give you a leg up on the competition.
Here are some questions that might help you think differently about how you’re reaching your customers online and give you some ideas for how to cultivate this increasingly important aspect of your business.
We’re happy to share that Jason Trevisan has been appointed CarGurus’ Chief Executive Officer. Trevisan, formerly our Chief Financial Officer and President of International, has been with CarGurus since 2015. Langley Steinert, our founder, will become Executive Chairman and remain involved in our long-term product innovation and corporate strategy. He will also continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Sam Zales will continue as President and COO, doing what he loves best: leading our commercial operations including sales, account management, customer service, and marketing, He’ll also resume oversight of CarGurus’ international business and lead the company’s new digital wholesale operations, including newly-acquired CarOffer.
Read more in the press release.
Last year, CarGurus President and COO Sam Zales and CPO Tom Caputo took the virtual stage to share their vision of where the company is headed, including how we’ve adapted to these turbulent times and the future of CarGurus offerings for dealers. Want the highlights? Watch the 5-minute video below.
As part of our ongoing commitment to providing dealers with more of the tools and services they need to get ahead in today’s digital-centric auto marketplace, we are very excited to announce that we’ve completed the acquisition of a 51% stake in the wholesale vehicle acquisition and selling platform CarOffer.
For those who aren’t familiar, CarOffer is an innovative inventory management platform for modern car dealers to buy, sell, and trade with automation and ease. Unlike traditional vehicle auctions, which require manual bidding and vehicle evaluation, CarOffer’s proprietary Buying Matrix technology lets buying dealers create standing buy orders and provides instant offers to selling dealers.
Digital innovation is constantly changing the car business. A dealership can no longer simply post inventory to its website and expect that to be enough to bring in customers. The internet opens up a world of possibilities, and it takes a well-executed, coordinated effort to truly capitalize on its potential and draw attention to everything your dealership has to offer.
The cars on your lot could be matched with potential buyers from much further afield than you might think. With some planning and analysis and using a variety of platforms, your staff can cultivate a strategy for finding and reaching a customer base that extends far beyond your local market.
At Navigate last year, CarGurus founder and CEO Langley Steinert sat down with Automotive News Publisher Jason Stein to chat. During their conversation, Langley spoke about Covid as a catalyst for change in the industry and highlighted the importance of innovation—by dealers and CarGurus. Watch this 3-minute video for the highlights:
As we all know, 2020 has been an unprecedented year that has challenged us in ways we never anticipated. Dealership shutdowns, economic uncertainty, and more—yet, you’ve pressed on, demonstrating resilience in the face of extraordinary circumstances.
Despite today’s unique environment, we’ve all accomplished a lot, so we took a moment to reflect on everything we did in 2020. Here are some of the highlights.
CarGurus is excited to announce the launch of a new financing integration, which will allow our dealer partners to access, copy, and submit completed credit applications from your CarGurus Pre-Qualified Leads at no additional cost directly within RouteOne. RouteOne is a leading provider of on-demand finance and insurance software, and is integrated with all major credit bureaus and over 1,500 financing sources.
In October, business leader and author Peter Sheahan took the virtual stage at CarGurus Navigate to share his strategies for growth with dealers from around the world. In his presentation, How to Turn Challenge into Opportunity and Change into Competitive Advantage, Peter explained why it is crucial that dealers adapt and gave tips for navigating today’s challenging selling environment. In particular, he described three steps for a transformation journey that helps dealers accelerate growth in a disrupted world: