As consumers prepare to make one of the largest purchases of their lives, Cars.com is here to make the process simpler and more enjoyable. For nearly two decades the site has consistently enhanced its offerings, staying one step ahead of changing consumer behavior to ensure car shoppers and owners have all the information they need to make more informed decisions on what to buy, where to buy and who to buy from.
The latest innovation in a string of new site and mobile app features are the Price Comparison Graphs located on each Vehicle Detail Page. These tools provide more context around the price of a used or new vehicle and help educate shoppers on how factors such as trim, mileage and certification impact the price of a vehicle in their market.
“One of the top concerns for any vehicle owner or shopper is price: ‘How much will this repair cost? What is a fair price for this car?’ We have always been committed to bringing more transparency to automotive, and our next bet is on improving the industry’s pricing decision tools so consumers can better understand why a car is priced a certain way,” said Joe Keehnast, principal product manager at Cars.com.
“In 2015, we rolled out our fair-price estimator tool to provide more information on local service and repair costs. Now we’re focused on enhancing the shopping process even further through vehicle pricing tools that keep consumers more engaged on the site, build trust between them and our dealer partners and facilitate a quicker path to purchase.”
In October 2016, Cars.com launched The Dealer’s Circle Community, a new dealer panel that allows the company to test ideas and ensure their consumer offerings will make a positive impact on local retailers across the country. The new Price Comparison Graphs received strong positive feedback, with 74 percent of dealers saying the new tool will have a positive or neutral impact on their dealership. The new panel currently has 400 members and is expected to reach 1,000 dealer participants by year end. Cars.com also has a consumer panel that is used for testing, which consists of 4,500 members across the country.
The new Price Comparison Graphs are just the beginning of a long list of pricing features anticipated to hit the site this year. The company expects to roll out Deeper Feature Comparison by the end of the first quarter, which will incorporate additional qualifiers such as drivetrain, engine cylinders and transmission into the Price Comparison Graphs. Local vehicle price comparisons are determined through a random sampling of all cars within 100 miles of the location of the vehicle. For used vehicles, comparison mileage and CPO status are also factored into the price.