Auto Trader Connect made available to all dealers after early access packages proved huge success

  • Auto Trader Connect – Retail Essentials now available to all retailers as part of standard advertising packages
  • Over 2,500 retailers have already signed up to receive the benefit of real-time data sharing
  • More 70 third-party system providers have already integrated Auto Trader Connect into their platforms or are in the process of doing so

Time 11:31 am, January 24, 2022

Auto Trader Connect has been made available to all dealers as part of standard advertising packages after early access proved to be a huge success for the online marketplace.

The new stock management solution has been designed to enable retailers to update multiple back-end and consumer facing systems with advanced vehicle data in real-time.

The first phase of the solution, Retail Essentials, will be available to Auto Trader’s retailer partners as part of all advertising packages as standard.

The firm offered early access to the service in December with over over 2,500 retailers leaping at the chance to snap it up.

Auto Trader has described the new system as a ‘transformative change in the industry’ and says third party system providers, such as stock management and retailer website providers, are in the process of integrating it into their platforms.

Over 70 have either already done so or are in the process of doing so, making it available to thousands of retailers.

Auto Trader ‘overwhelmed’ by response

Bosses at Auto Trader say they have been ‘overwhelmed’ with the response to the system and are looking forward to seeing how it develops.

Karolina Edwards-Smajda, Auto Trader’s commercial product director, said: ‘Even with access to real-time data, relying on data feeds is comparable to driving with the handbrake on.

‘It impedes your ability to react to changes in the market, and in effect, your ability to secure the greatest margin for your stock.

‘We wanted to utilise the full scale of our data to help our partners move away from this outdated and inefficient technology and to put them in the strongest position to capitalise on the strength of today’s retail market.

‘We have been overwhelmed by the response, and in particular third-party providers who after seeing the results for their customers, have been quick to roll it out across their platforms.’

Auto Trader explained how its Connect platform’s real-time link between systems enables changes to be made and shared across key selling-channels instantly.

Nathan Coe told Car Dealer about Auto Trader Connect back in November

Industry leaders say service is ‘optimising margins’

The new platform, which enables more accurate pricing, has been lauded by several industry leaders, who have hailed its impact.

James Weston, Robins & Day’s chief executive, said: ‘Simply put, relying on data feeds was causing us huge inefficiencies and ultimately put our business at a commercial disadvantage.

‘As well as costing us valuable time and effort in manually correcting mistakes or inconsistencies, the data feed lags severely hampered our ability to react to changes in the market.

‘At best this threatened potential margins, but at worst, it led to missing sales altogether.’

According to Auto Trader, 45 per cent of retailers are currently adding the incorrect vehicle spec into their DMS due to not having access to accurate data.

As part of Auto Trader Connect, retailers will have access to industry leading vehicle data, enabling them to easily create adverts and manage their stock with up to the minute market data.

Weston added: ‘As well as significantly improving efficiencies, the real-time connectivity of Auto Trader Connect, coupled with access to Auto Trader’s advanced vehicle taxonomy, has also ensured we’re pricing correctly based on the live retail market.

‘Not only are we able to react to changes as they happen, but it’s also optimising our margins.’

For other retailers, the key benefit of removing data feeds from the process is the competitive edge it offers their business in meeting the increased demand in the market.

Sean Booth, managing director of Parkway Motor Group, said: ‘It is hard to appreciate just how much data feeds were slowing us down until we were able to phase them out of our business.

‘In today’s market, where there is so much competition for the high levels of consumer demand, any delay has the potential to hit our bottom line.

‘Real-time connectivity simply makes us faster – faster to respond to changes, faster to get our stock in front of car buyers, and faster to make a sale. We’ve already seen a marked difference to our turnover.’

Among the third-parties to make use of the early access offer was Click Dealer, with CEO Ollie Moxham saying it had made creating and updating adverts ‘much faster and easier’.

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He said: ‘We could see the success our dealers who were using this system were having, so to work with Auto Trader on offering this to all our dealers was an easy decision to make.’

Velizar Dimitrov, director of E-Dynamix: added: ‘Delivering a single log-in solution for our customers had been a priority for some time, so we were more than happy to hear about the API solution available from Auto Trader.

‘This is 21st century technology, and the two-way transfer of data opens many new opportunities for retailers to embed the quality and variance of Auto Trader’s data in their own systems.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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