Press release

Auto Trader launches ‘Retail Ready’ tools to help retailers get back to business

Auto Trader sees highest audience since lockdown, with over 1 million visitors per day

According to the latest data from Auto Trader, consumer demand is coming back strongly, following the lockdown in March, as the marketplace records huge growth in audience, leads and saved vehicles.

The number of people searching for new and used cars every day on the UK’s largest automotive marketplace continues to accelerate, reaching over 1 million on Saturday 16th May. Highlighting the rate in which consumer demand is returning, it equates to a week on week growth of 15% with performance now close to pre COVID-19 levels. Reassuringly, not only are more consumers visiting Auto Trader, but they’re also engaging more with stock and adverts whilst onsite. During the last seven days[1], the number of leads[2] generated for retailers grew 48% year-on-year and c.12,700 vehicles are now being saved every day, which is an increase of 58% year-on-year.

The marketplace has developed a raft of ‘retail ready’ tools for retailers which will help them articulate the COVID-19 safety measures they are putting into place for car buyers, these include details of contactless collection options available. This is in line with the latest government advice suggesting retailers will hopefully be able to reopen fully from 1st June, and that ‘click and collect’ options are permittable before this date.

Recent research revealed that due to social distancing anxieties, 76% of consumers are concerned about visiting a dealership in a ‘normal’ way once the restrictions have been lifted. To overcome these anxieties, from 20th May retailers will be able to show consumers via their adverts on Auto Trader the measures they’ve taken to make the buying experience safer. Retailers who offer a home delivery service will be able to feature a corresponding indicator flag, and where available, potential car buyers will have the option to book a Live Video Viewing directly with the retailer. There will also be a section for COVID-19 safety measures to indicate whether the retailer offers appointments only or contactless collection, as well as a free text box to allow retailers to tell consumers about the specific COVID-19 safety measures they’ve introduced.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader Director of Commercial Products, says: “As a result of the global pandemic consumer shopping behaviours across all categories are changing, and this includes shopping for vehicles. In a world where, regardless of what the government says, consumers are still hesitant about going out, it’s vital that we support retailers to create an outstanding online experience for consumers. Everything from the browsing experience, to reassurances around the vehicle, its price and the retailer’s safety measures are necessary to instil trust with consumers and help retailers to convert sales. We have created these tools, to support both the retailer and the consumer to drive trust, transparency and of course much needed sales. We are all really focused on helping retailers to get back to business as quickly as possible.”

 As the most trusted automotive brand, Auto Trader is also launching a new marketing campaign on its marketplace to promote these safe retailing features along with responsible car buying and selling, to support consumers in their car buying journey. An advertising campaign aimed at promoting the industry being back to business and addressing consumer confusion in the car buying journey will launch as showrooms are allowed to open.

 The new ‘Retail Ready’ features are free to all Auto Trader customers and over 2,500 retailers have already begun to upload their measures including: 2,400 who have indicated social distancing measures had been put in place; 2,200 will offer a contactless handover service; and 2,000 retailers have introduced appointment only visits.

[1] Up to 16th May

[2] Defined by emails (general, part exchange, finance), text and Live Chat

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