SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Edmunds.com has acquired mobile startup CarCode, a service that lets customers and dealers engage in one-on-one text messaging. It is the first acquisition for the online car shopping website.
The technology will be used in Edmund’s dealership network and will be provided as a complimentary service for shoppers.
“Car shoppers are clamoring for mobile solutions and we saw an opportunity to provide an on-demand mobile experience through the CarCode platform,” said Seth Berkowitz, president of Edmunds. “We think CarCode provides a very relevant service that ties directly to the growing trend in mobile showrooming and shopping.”
CarCode is a SMS texting platform that allows dealers to respond to customers directly from their phones. Dealers are also sent leads from Edmunds via text and participating dealerships will be able to add a “Text Us” link to their websites that allows consumers to initiate contact.
The service also lets dealers manage their conversations with buyers, showing unanswered messages and average response times.
CarCode won Edmund’s annual Hackomotive challenge in February of 2013. The event was held to encourage innovation in solving car shopping pain points. Afterward, Edmunds supported the service through its Fastlane Accelerator program.
“We developed CarCode SMS after realizing customers weren’t able to communicate with dealerships the way a growing number of them actually preferred, via text messaging,” said Nick Gorton, co-founder of CarCode.
As part of the acquisition, Gorton has joined Edmunds as executive director of product management.