CarGurus unveiled new and upcoming product developments this week, including a tool that uses AI to help dealers sort hot leads from cool ones.

The updates were announced during CarGurus’s annual Navigate Conference, where the company discusses car retailing with its dealers customers. They include:

  • An extension of the firm’s Area Boost feature, formerly “Delivery,” which allows dealerships to expose inventory listings beyond their normal geographic market. Beginning this fall, dealers will be able to circulate listings up to 1,000 miles away from their stores, versus the former limit of 500 miles.

CarGurus says 56% more dealers use Area Boost than before the outbreak of the pandemic. The firm says searches resulting in delivery leads have doubled, and that the Area Boost feature has generated a total of 3 million sales leads and 5 million chat or phone inquiries.

The feature, introduced in the U.S. last fall, rolled out this month in Canada and the U.K.

IMV Scan is an app that helps dealers price vehicles.

  • A new integration of CarGurus’s finance pre-qualification tool that allows it to sync with dealer customer relationship management (CRM) systems. According to Tom Caputo, CarGurus’s chief product officer, the change was prompted by dealer frustration in converting pre-qualification sales leads into actual sales.

In response, CarGurus has brought in an outside vendor, Route One, that specializes in system integration between dealerships and lenders. The company provides a tool that helps dealers avoid duplication in data entry and makes the process of financing a car easier for both dealer and customer.

CarGurus piloted the Route One system over the summer and promises to make it available to all dealers using the finance pre-qualification by year’s end, Caputo said.

  • A new pricing tool called IMV Scan that helps dealers quickly assess a vehicle’s value and price it strategically. The tool, available as a smart-phone app, scans vehicle identification numbers (VINs) of cars that a dealer might source at auction or through trade in.

With that input, the phone instantly collects relevant data such as sales and crash history. The tool helps dealers assess a car’s value and to strategically price it for resale. It also suggests price adjustments to get better vehicle deal ratings on the CarGurus marketplace.

The tool is available for Android and will be available on iOS “in a week or so,” Caputo said.

A revamped dealer dashboard will soon feature an AI tool to identify “hot” leads.

 

A marketing analytics tool called Lead AI. As part of a revamped dealer dashboard, the tool analyzes the way shoppers engage with vehicle detail pages (VDPs) on CarGurus.com and sorts them into hot, warm and standard leads. Standard leads would be “high funnel” shoppers who are just starting to shop for a car vs. “hot” lead, which are four times as likely to buy within a month as standard ones, the company states.

The product announcements and other presentations from the Navigate conference are recorded and archived here.

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