AutoTrader.com Enhances Online Car Shopping Experience with Social Media Connections, Chat and More
2.8.11: PRESS RELEASE
AutoTrader.com, the ultimate automotive marketplace, today announced the national launch of the Connections Bundle, which integrates social media, chat, dealer ratings and more to create more avenues for car shoppers to connect with dealers online. The complete bundle includes Chat, Social Connections, Dealer Ratings and Sitelink Advanced. With this launch, AutoTrader.com is the first automotive marketplace to enable direct connections from dealers' listings to their social networking pages and third-party ratings sites.
Tested extensively throughout the third and fourth quarters of 2010, the Connections Bundle proved to be a valuable addition to AutoTrader.com's current offerings and is now available to dealers across the nation.
- Chat enables dealers to instantly connect with prospects online via text-based conversations. When a dealer representative is available, a link noting that availability appears on the vehicle listing and encourages shoppers to start a chat session. Powered by auto dealer chat software from Contact At Once!, the chat feature can also be extended to the iPad and most smart phones, so dealers can chat with prospects even when they're not at their desks. In prior tests conducted by AutoTrader.com, shoppers used the chat feature three times more than email to connect with dealers, resulting in a 20% lift in shopper interactions.
- Social Connections helps dealers connect with their prospects via social networking by creating highly visible links to their Facebook and Twitter pages. Over 25% of dealers use social media, and this feature enables them to promote their presence on these sites and further develop their relationships with prospective customers.
- Dealer Ratings allows dealers to showcase independent reviews and promote their online reputation. Dealers can select a third-party review site from a range of options and have that site linked to their presence across AutoTrader.com, extending the reach of their positive feedback.
- Sitelink Advanced is a graphic button that enhances the visibility of the dealer's website link on a vehicle listing page, giving dealers' websites more prominence and making it easier for prospective buyers to learn more about the dealer.
"At AutoTrader.com, our goal is to connect buyers and sellers, and we're always working to enhance those connections," said AutoTrader.com President and CEO Chip Perry. "Dealers invest significant resources in telling their stories online — from creating compelling websites and social media presences to ensuring that customers have positive experiences to share. The Connections Bundle offers dealers multiple ways to merge information from across the Web and interact with their prospects online, helping them forge more productive relationships and, ultimately, sell more cars."
Today more than ever before, buyers are using the Internet to research and compare not just cars, but dealers as well. By connecting a dealer's social media presences and online ratings to their AutoTrader.com listings, the Connections Bundle enables prospects to access this information more easily. The addition of chat and greater access to Facebook and Twitter pages also raises the bar on how prospects can interact with dealers online, helping to build trust and rapport during the car shopping process.
Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com, created in 1997, is the Internet's ultimate automotive marketplace and consumer information website. AutoTrader.com aggregates in a single location millions of new cars, used cars and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of auto dealers and private sellers and is a leading online resource for auto dealers, individuals and manufacturers to advertise and market their vehicles to in-market shoppers. The company also provides a robust suite of software tools for dealers and manufacturers to help them manage and market their vehicle inventory and display advertising on the Internet. AutoTrader.com continues to grow key business metrics, including revenue, profitability and site traffic. Today, AutoTrader.com attracts more than 15 million unique monthly visitors who utilize the site to review descriptions, photos and videos of vehicles for sale; research and compare vehicles; review pricing and specials; and read auto-related content like buying and selling tips and editorial coverage of major auto shows and automotive trends. AutoTrader.com operates two other auto marketing brands, AutoTraderClassics.com and AutoTraderLatino.com. AutoTrader.com also owns used vehicle management software company vAuto, Kelley Blue Book (Kbb.com), HomeNet Automotive, a leading provider of online inventory management and merchandising solutions for the automotive retail industry and VinSolutions, a leading provider of end-to-end solution platforms for dealers. AutoTrader.com is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit www.autotrader.com.