CHICAGO – Cars.com, the premier online resource for buying and selling new and used vehicles, announced today that it has introduced BaseDrive™, an evolution of its online advertising package helping franchise dealers better promote their brand, reputation and new-car inventory on Cars.com. The introduction coincides with the first wave of planned site enhancements designed to better align the new-car shopping experience on Cars.com with the needs of today’s consumers.
“New-car sales are back, and more shoppers than ever are taking to the internet to make the best choices, not only about what car to buy, but where to buy it,” said Mitch Golub, president, Cars.com. “BaseDrive introduces new-car features to our online advertising package that help franchise dealers promote the value of their dealership, not just their inventory, and it’s all designed to drive more new-car business with Cars.com’s audience of in-market car shoppers.”
BaseDrive enhances franchise dealers’ existing online advertising package with increased brand exposure, automated merchandising features and comprehensive reporting specifically customized for a dealer’s new-car sales process. Ad packages for franchise dealers in most markets have been automatically upgraded to BaseDrive.
Optimized Brand Exposure
“Dealers work hard to provide a great experience to their customers and differentiate themselves in their markets,” said David Gilmartin, director, New-Car Strategy. “BaseDrive brings all that hard work to life on Cars.com by integrating a dealership’s story and reputation throughout a consumer’s new-car search process.”
On the new Dealer Profile Page, dealers showcase their unique value through a personalized narrative, a promotional tagline, dealership photos and videos, multiple contact options, sales and service hours and prominently featured Dealer Reviews.
Shoppers can also group search results by dealer and sort by Dealer Reviews, making it easier to assess vehicle availability at the dealership level and helping them make a more confident and informed decision about where to buy. These pages now feature more dealer-level information, such as Dealer Review ratings and a promotional tagline, better showcasing a dealership’s brand.
Optimized New-Car Merchandising
Cars.com will now automatically include one color-matched stock photo on search result and vehicle details pages of every new-car listing when dealer-supplied photos are unavailable, offering a better consumer experience in addition to providing an automated, impactful vehicle merchandising solution for the dealer.
“When it comes to inventory merchandising, our research has shown that photos are one of the top items shoppers want to see, yet it can be time-consuming for dealers to take photos of every new vehicle on their lot,” said Gilmartin. “BaseDrive makes including photos a turnkey part of the merchandising process.”
Optimized Way of Gauging Exposure and Engagement
“We’ve seen dynamic changes in the way consumers shop for new vehicles online, and one of our top priorities in launching BaseDrive is to give dealers better insight into that activity than ever before,” said Gilmartin. “BaseDrive Market Intelligence Reports convey how a dealership’s performance with new-car shoppers stacks up against that of its competitors, as well as key market trends and predictive data that help dealers make better decisions for their business.”
BaseDrive’s Market Intelligence Reports track a dealer’s share of total consumer exposure and engagement in their market, showing how often shoppers see information about their dealership, as well as the level of consumer interaction they capture on Cars.com in relation to the rest of their market. The reports also show how the dealership’s inventory turn rate on Cars.com stacks up against its competitors, helping them gauge the pace of their sales compared to the market average.
Finally, Cars.com has partnered with Dataium, the largest aggregator of internet automotive shopping activity, to provide key new-car market trends in the BaseDrive Market Intelligence Report, including predicted consumer demand and trend forecasts for selected makes and models, all provided at the national and regional levels. The first report, based on data collected in May, will be available in June.
More information about BaseDrive’s new features, including an introductory video, can be found at dealers.cars.com/kickit.
Founded in 1998, Cars.com is an award-winning online destination for car shoppers that offers information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy and how much to pay for a car. Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including A.H. Belo (NYSE: AHC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).