- Service & Repair
Chicago—March 24, 2008—Cars.com (www.cars.com) announced today the availability of a secure credit application that dealers can use to more effectively work with internet car buyers and position themselves to win the sale. This application allows shoppers to safely provide their financial and contact information to the dealer, both signaling their interest in a particular vehicle, their interest in financing, and underscoring their intent to buy.
"Customers who submit a secure credit application on Cars.com essentially give the dealer an invitation to sell them a car," said Dennis Galbraith, Cars.com vice president of dealer products and training. "Dealers know everything necessary about the shopper to make the sale, from who the prospect is to how to make contact and what kind of car the buyer wants and can afford. By eliminating the usual preliminaries, they're able to quickly get down to business. They also have the flexibility to move ahead with the deal at hand or direct shoppers to a better fit based on their requirements and credit history."
Links to the secure credit application appear in several locations on Cars.com, helping dealers who use the product to stand out from their competitors. They are displayed, for example, within the dealer's listing on dealer locator search results, "more details" pages for individual vehicles and on the payment calculator.
The secure credit application also integrates with DealerSites, Cars.com's industry-leading custom website product, seamlessly extending dealers' online financing capabilities. Shoppers can submit the form in connection with a specific vehicle that interests them. Alternatively, they can submit the form to their preferred dealer, allowing the dealer to suggest cars based on their income and credit history.
Unlike similar offerings on other websites, the Cars.com secure credit application allows car buyers to complete the form in stages and submit their data as they go. Dealers can capture key information even if the consumer does not complete the entire process. This feature also allows dealers to receive a notification at each stage as the prospect's information is submitted, allowing them to immediately begin the sale process and reach out to shoppers while they're still online filling out the form.
"This advanced notice often gives dealers the competitive edge they need to win the sale," Galbraith said. "The sooner they can obtain the shopper's credit report and compile information about the shopper's needs, the sooner they can connect with the prospective buyer and start working the deal."
Cars.com is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible, 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 millions of site visitors 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 and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).