Autotrader doesn't want shoppers to merely find vehicles on its site. The third-party platform is changing so that it can shepherd consumers through much of a deal online and save them time when they connect with dealership salespeople.
Autotrader said it is undergoing a series of changes this year around digital retailing, cross-device shopping, price confidence and refined search experiences to deliver higher quality leads.
The digital retailing experience will be delivered in pieces, with consumers able to complete most of a deal on Autotrader by year end, said Jessica Stafford, the site's senior vice president. Autotrader is owned by Cox Automotive.
"Right now, and leading up to [the National Automobile Dealers Association convention in March], we are launching the steps to start the deal, the steps to start the self-penciling part. That's where you'll be able to apply incentives, apply trade-ins and really make an offer and start the discussion back and forth with the dealer before you even set foot" in the store, Stafford told Automotive News.