Posts by Jeremy Sacco
We’re happy to share that Jason Trevisan has been appointed CarGurus’ Chief Executive Officer. Trevisan, formerly our Chief Financial Officer and President of International, has been with CarGurus since 2015. Langley Steinert, our founder, will become Executive Chairman and remain involved in our long-term product innovation and corporate strategy. He will also continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Sam Zales will continue as President and COO, doing what he loves best: leading our commercial operations including sales, account management, customer service, and marketing, He’ll also resume oversight of CarGurus’ international business and lead the company’s new digital wholesale operations, including newly-acquired CarOffer.
Read more in the press release.
While the COVID-19 crisis is showing signs of easing, we understand that business won’t be back to near normal levels in the short run. To help our customers transition back into full operations, we are extending a 20% discount for all Canadian dealer customers in June.
The discount works exactly the same as the discounts in April and May: all subscribing dealers will receive it automatically, it will apply to all subscription services provided in June, and those dealers will continue to receive their full level of CarGurus service.
We’ve mentioned before that we expect that car buying demand to return as consumers regain their confidence and dealership operations resume. Now we can report that we have started to see a slow but steady return of shopper interest on our site – both search activity and lead submissions have increased week over week throughout April and dealerships who start building a pipeline through digital marketing and relationship-building now will be better positioned to take advantage of it.
Learn more or get suggestions
We continue to collect resources and information about dealing with the virus and changing business conditions in our Driving Difference page. Take a look for suggestions for doing more business digitally, keeping customers and employees safe, and continuing to run your dealership.
We hope you continue to stay safe and that your business gets back to normal as quickly as possible. If you have any questions, please reach out to your account manager or call 800-CARGURUS. We’re here to help.
A message from Sam Zales, President and COO
As CarGurus navigates the global health crisis, we continue to evaluate the impact on our employees, the economy, the auto industry, consumer spending, dealerships, and ultimately, our business. In March, we took swift, decisive action to support our dealers through this crisis. We were the first major online automotive marketplace in the U.S., UK, and Canada to announce billings relief with our 50% fee reduction for April and May. And we are committed to continuing to drive leads across our marketplaces and provide services to help dealers navigate this crisis and position themselves to rebound quickly as business resumes.
Clearly, our discounting program for dealers will result in us generating less revenue in the near term. Today, we announced a range of cost-cutting measures we are taking in response so that we can emerge as an even stronger company and continue to be the best partner to you, our dealers. Unfortunately, this included the painful decision to reduce our global workforce by 13%. For those of you that have recently had to furlough or reduce staff as a result of COVID-19, I am sure you can relate to how difficult this decision was for us. We are sad to part ways with a group of incredibly talented colleagues, and I will be forever grateful for their contributions. You can read more about this announcement in this message I sent to our employees.
The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly reshaping large parts of our daily lives – more quickly than some businesses can adapt. In our industry, dealers, vendors, and OEMs are facing incredible uncertainty and business pressures as consumers stay home and governments shut down operations.
CarGurus is determined to be a supportive partner through this situation. That’s why we wanted to let you know that due to the incredible impact of the virus and the restrictions being put in place across the country, we have decided to make some temporary changes to free and paid CarGurus Listings services, effective 4/1.
Specifically, we’re offering a suspended activity option to our paying customers who choose to cancel their subscriptions with us due to the crisis, whether their states were shut down by official orders or not. Our goal is to give our customers immediate financial relief while maintaining the best possible shopping experience for our car-buying audience, as well as giving our dealers a jump start when they’re ready to get back to business after the situation returns to normal. Here are the details of the suspended activity option:
(The following email went out to our dealer customers on 3/19. We’ve heard that it didn’t reach everyone we wanted to, so we’re republishing it here.)
One of CarGurus’ core values is Integrity – and that drives our commitment to being a partner in the community. As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold around the world, we wanted to let you know that we at CarGurus are thinking of all our customers and partners, hoping you, your family, and your employees are safe.
It’s an unprecedented situation, and we, like you, are working hard to adapt to the rapidly evolving circumstances. We know the crisis is already hitting many dealers hard, but the impact is varied. Some areas are nearing total shutdown, others are not yet impacted. Similarly, our lead volumes remain surprisingly strong in many regions, while they’re weaker in harder-hit areas.
Whatever your situation is, we’re committed to trying to give you the support you need to reach your best possible results during this challenging time. To that end:
In a market where customer expectations are evolving rapidly, sometimes the best way to stay on top of trends is to go straight to the source. We recently did just that in a consumer survey that covered online purchasing across multiple types of products, the importance of reviews, and why dealers should share as much information as possible on each car. For example, when we asked them, 73% of Canadian consumers said trust and transparency were the most important factors when making a major online purchase.
Read more about the results of our survey and what our Director of International Marketing Lisa Iannucci has to say about it in Trust & Transparency on Canadian AutoJournal.
Successful dealers understand that today’s car buyer checks several sources before setting foot in a dealership
Car dealers interested in reaching the broadest car buying audience need to cast a wide net and invest their online advertising budget in a variety of lead sources. Data from comScore shows that there are unique audiences to be found on many of the different third-party lead generation websites. A case in point: 55% of CarGurus traffic doesn’t visit another leading car shopping website.
According to CIO.com, investing in just one channel creates dependency and contract lock-in. Diversity keeps your brand fresh, interesting and engaging. Dealers should consider the prospect of managing and tracking multiple digital advertising campaigns as an opportunity to reach more prospects and increase profitability.
If there’s an accessible digital community of prospective car buyers already researching the vehicles you sell and rating the quality of service of dealerships in your area, shouldn’t you investigate that opportunity?
Dealers need to understand how to use SEO effectively to drive sales
Most car dealers are probably aware of the Google research that shows almost 80% of the touchpoints on the consumer purchase journey happen online. Given how critical digital sources are to that journey, auto dealers need to ensure they are leveraging all the tools available to them to establish a strong online presence that contributes to their bottom line.
One of the most effective ways to drive online lead generation is through the use of search engine optimization (SEO).
The Auto Remarketing show is always a favorite of ours, and this year was no different. It was great to meet so many dealers, both current customers and those who are just interested in learning more about CarGurus. Here’s Kaylin B., team lead from our Canada sales team, giving a demo to two representatives from Kia of Timmins.