AUTO TRADER has upgraded the algorithm powering its search rankings to prioritise results based on consumer relevance as well as price.
It’s designed to improve the car-buying experience for consumers and provide retailers with an increase in leads. During testing, the relevance-based search delivered 10 per cent more leads, as well as more dealership map views and location clicks, plus website clicks and Auto Trader account ‘saves’.
As of today, the rankings will by default show the adverts that are more relevant to consumer search criteria and are of a better quality. Using Auto Trader’s data science capability, the quality of the advert is determined by analysing what the digital automotive marketplace calls ‘an unparalleled depth of consumer insight’ – 4,500 searches every minute by its 49.1m monthly visitors. This machine-learning connects individual consumers to vehicles they may be interested in buying.
Auto Trader said its research had shown that one in three consumers would have bought their car sooner if the process was easier for them. It added that by making the search process simpler and more relevant to their requirements, the upgrade would connect retailers with more engaged car buyers much sooner, helping them to sell more cars more quickly.
It added that retailers would win by concentrating on providing the best customer experience, stocking the right vehicles for their forecourt and, crucially, pricing them at the right price.
Karolina Edwards-Smajda, pictured, director of commercial products, said: ‘All of our research shows that retailers that price to market from day one enjoy a faster speed of sale, which means they’re selling more cars more quickly and for more profit.
‘We’re committed to making the car-buying experience easier for consumers and, in the process, providing our customers with the very best marketplace to sell their cars. By showing relevant results and useful information upfront to car buyers, we’re delivering retailers more meaningful connections earlier in the process and fewer questions from less-informed consumers.’
Retailers can appear higher up the rankings by following best digital practice, which includes featuring plenty of images and video to highlight the true condition of the car, adding lots of detail on the condition and specification, and using customer reviews to instil confidence and trust in their business.
The new relevance-based search won’t affect paid prominence products such as standard, advanced and premium packages or the Lead Gen (Pay per Click) product.