Press release

Auto Trader upgrades search rankings to deliver more quality leads to retailers

Relevance-based search delivers up to 10% increase in quality leads

 

  • Upgraded search algorithm prioritises relevance over price

Auto Trader, the UK’s largest digital automotive marketplace in the UK, has evolved the algorithm powering its search rankings to prioritise results based on consumer relevance as well as price. The upgrade is designed to both improve the car buying experience for consumers and provide retailers with an increase in leads. In testing, the relevance-based search delivered 10% more leads[1], as well as more dealership map views, location clicks, and website clicks and Auto Trader account ‘saves’.

The right car, from the right retailer

As of 19th August, the rankings will by default show the adverts that are more relevant to their search criteria and are of a better quality. Utilising Auto Trader’s data science capability, the quality of the advert is determined by analysing an unparalleled depth of consumer insight: 4,500 searches conducted every minute on the marketplace by its 49.1m monthly visitors. This sophisticated machine learning connects individual consumers to vehicles they may be interested in purchasing.

Auto Trader research shows that one in three consumers would have bought their car sooner if the process was easier for them[2]. By making the search process easier and more relevant to their requirements, the upgrade will connect retailers with more engaged car buyers much sooner, helping them sell more cars, more quickly.

Driving quality leads

Retailers will win by concentrating on providing the best customer experience, stocking the right vehicles for their forecourt, and crucially, pricing them at the right price. Retailers that price to market are consistently generating more gross profit; the fastest selling vehicles on Auto Trader are priced at 99%-100% of the current specification adjusted market value.   

Commenting on the update, Karolina Edwards-Smajda, 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 with more meaningful connections earlier in the process, and fewer questions from less informed consumers.”

Whilst there isn’t a simplistic check-list, 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 of the car; and using customer reviews to instil confidence and trust in their business. Retailers can discover everything they need to get the most out of this upgrade, by reading the Auto Trader best practice guide on creating relevant, high-quality adverts here.

The new relevance-based search will not affect paid prominence products such as standard, advanced and premium packages or the Lead Gen (Pay per Click) product, which will retain their positioning in search results as they are calculated independently of regular search results. Consumers can still sort search by low to high vehicles. Search by monthly price for new and used vehicles will continue to be ordered by lowest monthly price. What’s more, the upgrade will only affect cars, and will not feature in the ‘New’ search tab.  

[1] Total increase in leads for contract customers based on a test of 5% of users vs a control sample 22nd March to 17th April 2019. Leads are defined as email enquiries, calls and live chats. Individual retailer results may vary.

[2] Auto Trader Car Buyers Report, 2019

In next week’s webinar we’ll be joined by @mikejonesase to talk through what the latest budget means for retailers. We’ll also discuss what independent and franchise retailers can learn from each other as they prepare to reopen physical forecourts > https://t.co/rKjsWxrWjN https://t.co/tTxqOKW63A
Our teams were delighted to be a part of #BreakoutForBen, raising £12,225 towards the staggering total achieved by all who took part @BenSupport4Auto https://t.co/JqHkpGF9cE
To celebrate #InternationalWomensDay on Monday 8th March, we'll be hosting a webinar centred around this year’s theme #ChooseToChallenge. Find out more and register at https://t.co/z83jRsYDtp https://t.co/Yfvh2KkK1A
Our Data & Insight Director @therickw shares our latest audience data along with what we are seeing in terms of overall market and retailer performance. https://t.co/r5vdGHI1UM
In our next webinar we welcome back @mikejonesase ,chairman of @ASE_Global, to give the latest update on government financial support and answer your questions which you can pre-submit by following the instructions below. https://t.co/al6EzwaeJ3
Whilst the latest data from the @SMMT shows new car registrations were down -35.5% last month, we’ve seen a significant increase in new car engagement on our marketplace. https://t.co/NWLpyJ1j2W
Our Retail Price Index, which is based on daily pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles, revealed the average price of a used car in February was £14,096: a YoY increase of 6.6%. https://t.co/HrAEkAqpOV
From May 1st admin fees will be displayed on your full-page adverts. Fees will not appear in search pricing until later this year. https://t.co/ernaPgaJsL
Buyer's confidence in being able to afford their next car remains extremely high. https://t.co/ktR6FungW8
First up our Data & Insight Director @therickw shares our latest audience update. Last week audience grew 8.8% compared to the same time last year, with our marketplace seeing an average of 1.4 million users each day last week. https://t.co/fNyeiSr1AG

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience