ATLANTA — Las Vegas car shoppers are among the first in the United States with access to Accelerate, Cox Automotive’s new connected retail platform. Now available across Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com, Accelerate a set of online tools designed to assist with the buying process.
The platform was designed to make car buying faster, easier and more enjoyable, and can save consumers up to an hour at the dealership, thanks to a simple, more efficient and integrated online experience for both consumers and dealers, according to the company.
The typical car buyer in the United States spends more than three hours in the dealership from start to finish, according to Cox Automotive’s 2018 “Car Buyer Journey Study.” For 50% of new-car buyers in America, that’s entirely too long, said Mike Burgiss, vice president of digital retailing for Cox Automotive.
“After years of frustration and demand for a change in the car-buying process, Accelerate offers dealers a way to sell to consumers how they want to buy,” Burgiss said. “Consumers want to choose their own path to purchase, which means structuring their deal and monthly payment before visiting the dealership, and then visiting the store to confirm their numbers, test drive the vehicle, and complete the paperwork. Accelerate’s revolutionary end-to-end retailing solution delivers the shopping and buying experience nine out of 10 consumers want, and the control and efficiency dealers need, making it faster and easier than ever for dealers to close sales.”
The first marketwide launch in Las Vegas includes 24 of the city’s dealerships using Accelerate initially on their Autotrader listings, followed by listings on KBB.com. In all, more than 10,000 vehicles — an estimated 43% of the available inventory in the Las Vegas market on Autotrader — will be faster to buy using Accelerate. Further market expansion of Accelerate across the U.S. is scheduled throughout 2018.
Accelerate tools also will be made available across many of the dealer websites powered by Dealer.com in 2018. Dealer.com, a Cox Automotive brand, currently supports more than 60% of franchised dealership websites across the U.S. — more than 13,000 total. More than 26,000 dealers in the U.S. use Cox Automotive’s Autotrader, KBB.com and Dealer.com to market and sell cars. Cox Automotive’s two car-shopping sites — Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com — each host nearly 20 million visitors per month.
In an exclusive interview with Auto Dealer Today and F&I and Showroom, Burgiss said that, although Las Vegas is Accerate’s first beta market launch, some dealers are already using the system, and the feedback has been good.
“Dealers who are really engaging the Accelerate process are finding that when customers aren’t pushed on their budget and know their monthly payments before coming to the store, it’s a win-win. The dealerships are doing well in F&I as well, because customers are landing in the right car and avoiding surprises in the business office. When the negotiation phase is easier, prosperity grows,” Burgiss said.
Accelerate exemplifies the power of Cox Automotive’s family of brands, uniting the most complete online car-shopping experience in Autotrader, the most-trusted brand for car pricing, research, and valuations in Kelley Blue Book, and the premier digital marketing solution and partner for dealers in Dealer.com, according to the company.
“We know our customers are doing research and shopping for cars online, so we want to meet them where they are, in ways convenient for them,” said Darren Johnston, general manager for Henderson Nissan. “We think the new Accelerate approach is the right one, as it can make the car-buying process even more efficient for us and for our customers.”
Consumer advertising for Accelerate will commence in early March 2018 in Las Vegas, with radio, digital and outdoor executions. The all-new Autotrader experience, which is undergoing dramatic transformation throughout 2018, is the centerpiece of the marketing efforts, with a focus on a quick, more convenient buying experience through Accelerate.
“Accelerate represents a significant milestone in Autotrader’s dramatic transformation story,” said Jessica Stafford, general manager for Autotrader. “Adding Accelerate to the all-new Autotrader further distances the site from others in the industry when it comes to helping shoppers quickly and easily move from shopping to buying. With this groundbreaking solution, we’re instilling trust and confidence in the transaction, leading to a better consumer experience, higher quality leads and actual car sales for dealers.”