Chicago—February 1, 2008—Cars.com (www.cars.com) announced today the availability of VideoShowcase to help dealers better merchandise their inventory and strengthen their store branding. The innovative new product allows dealers to enhance their internet advertising by fully demonstrating their vehicles' features and condition.
"Very often, the sale is in the details," said Dennis Galbraith, vice president of dealer products and operations at Cars.com. "With competition online intensifying, VideoShowcase helps dealers stand out from the crowd and encourages prospects to spend more time with their listings. As shoppers gain confidence they've found the right car and the right dealer, they're more likely to take the next step toward a purchase."
VideoShowcase allows dealers to combine video with voice-over narration to tell the story for each new and used car they have in inventory. Graphical links on vehicle details and search results pages identify Cars.com listings that include video. They also create additional visibility for dealers' ads and increase the likelihood that car shoppers will click on them.
Industry studies indicate that dealer adoption of video will grow significantly during the next few years, particularly given its early success. A 2007 study by the Kelsey Group, for example, found that 55 percent of consumers visited a business' website after watching an online video advertisement. Of those visitors, 30 percent went to the company's store, and 24 percent made a purchase.
"Using video adds depth to the listing," said Wayne Ussery, internet marketing director for Atlanta-based Jim Ellis Automotive Dealerships. "We see a direct connection between sales and how prospects use video. There is a parallel that shows if the car was sold, the video was viewed."
Ussery said he began using video with vehicles advertised on his nine stores' websites in 2006. A year later, he expanded the initiative to include his video listings on Cars.com and other third-party shopping sites. Monthly views of the videos, Ussery said, have since doubled.
Cars.com accepts VideoShowcase data feeds from the leading inventory services providers and can work with most dealers' preferred vendor. Providers for dealers already using VideoShowcase include Dealer Specialties, Digital Media Communications, Liquidus, SiSTeR Technologies and UnityWorks! Media.
Cars.com is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible and easy-to-understand 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. With comprehensive pricing information, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new and used car inventory, Cars.com puts more than 8 million unique visitors who log on to the site each month in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).