The move comes at a time when Cars.com is building up its offerings.
Cars.com announced in July that it was acquiring DealerRater, a platform where consumers can write reviews about salespeople, dealerships and service shops. The transaction closed in the first week of August, a spokeswoman confirmed today.
The company said the acquisition gives it the largest dealer review platform in the industry, with more than 4 million consumer-submitted reviews.
Cars.com has its own, though smaller, database of dealership reviews, which it launched in 2011. The integration between the sites was expected happen soon after the deal closed.
CEO Alex Vetter said Cars.com reviews will also flow into DealerRater, which will remain a separate website.
“Online reviews are becoming more critical than ever in all shopping categories, but even more so in the auto category,” Vetter told Automotive News when the deal was announced. “[Consumers] trust reviews as much as they do their family and friends.”
Cars.com is also rolling out new features to its mobile app to meet the demands of consumers who turn to their devices during the shopping process — even while browsing dealership lots.
The third-party site added a new feature to its app where shoppers can scan the vehicle identification number of any car on a dealer lot with their smartphones to get details such as price and features. The “On the Lot VIN Scanner,” which also allows users to save their favorite vehicles, was introduced in mid-August to bolster the app, which has been around since 2010.
Cars.com introduced the “Price Drop Alerts” feature to its app in July that lets shoppers sign up for push-notification alerts on their phones that inform them when prices fall on vehicles they’re interested in.
The additions signal that Cars.com’s is making mobile a priority, in response to the growing number of consumers accessing it via mobile devices.
The app draws around 7 million visits each month.
“We’ve taken an approach within our product team to build pretty much anything and everything from the perspective of mobile first,” Chhaya Dave, Cars.com’s senior director of product management, told Automotive News on Tuesday. “… We knew the shift was happening. In the last couple of years, we’ve started to see a huge shift towards that platform. We’ve made it our No. 1 priority since.”
Vince Bond and Bloomberg contributed to this report.