Cars.com Listings Hit Mobile Devices

  |  June 5, 2007   |  Comments

The auto listings site has teamed with Crisp Wireless to let people search all its auto classifieds and other content through mobile devices.

A Web search for "mobile auto classifieds" is more likely to result in listings for used cars in Alabama than to help users access auto classifieds via wireless devices. A new mobile service from Cars.com will change that. The auto listings site has teamed with Crisp Wireless to let people search all its auto classifieds and other content through mobile devices.

At first, a single unnamed advertiser will be the sole sponsor of the mobile site, but more ad opportunities will be made available as traffic builds. "I do believe targeting and contextual information will be very important," said Cars.com Director of Product Management Sharon Knitter. Users will be able to click to call auto sellers via the new service, as well as e-mail listings to others.

At this point, mobile classified advertising is at a minimum, according to Pete Conti, VP at local media research firm Borrell Associates. "When we look into the numbers they are not high enough for us to track with any degree of accuracy. We believe that the amount of revenue is somewhere beneath the lint of our pockets."

All of the more than two million auto listings available on Cars.com's Web site will be viewable and searchable in the mobile environment. The expectation is for users to seek out listings, reviews and auto news, or use payment calculators while in the pre-purchase research stage. However, as people grow accustomed to using their cell phones and PDAs for more immediate comparison shopping purposes, dealers could see more buyers accessing mobile listings, photos or information on nearby dealers while at their dealerships.

"The vast majority of people are still going to do most of their research at home," said Knitter, who believes people will eventually use the service often while on dealer lots. "Dealers know this happens today....It reinforces the things we're trying to do to empower the user," she added.

Mobile Web site developer Crisp Wireless is providing the platform for integrating Cars.com's data feeds with the wireless site. "It's a complex integration, but it's easy to use from the consumer's perspective," said Debora Bluman, VP of Product Marketing at Crisp Wireless. "The most important thing for [Cars.com] was for [users] to get the updated listings while on the lot."

Crisp typically builds and deploys mobile sites for media firms, and counts USA Today, NBC Universal, Hachette Filipacchi and Weather Channel Interactive among its clients. The company also can connect its platform to third party ad servers or use its own ad serving platform.

Other mobile classifieds services do exist. For instance, Cox's PalmBeachPost.com partners with CellSigns to provide access to wireless classifieds in auto, real estate and other categories.

Peter Zollman, founding principal and executive editor of Classified Intelligence doesn't think too many people are using mobile devices to check out listings on the spot. However, he said the ability to find information on vehicles readily can be "one of the bad things for car dealers," adding, "Car dealers benefit from obscure pricing. They have lost in most cases that obscurity that made pricing such a seller's game."

Still, he continued, "Every advertiser wants distribution," meaning the dealer down the road will be pleased to have potential buyers viewing his listings while on a competitor's lot. "He's thrilled to be able to reach him just before he makes a purchase," Zollman said. "As an advertiser it makes little sense to be unhappy with things like that."

Separately, Cars.com is sponsoring ABC’s summertime TV series “Fast Cars & Superstars -- Gillette Young Guns Celebrity Race."

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kate Kaye

Kate Kaye was Managing Editor at ClickZ News until October 2012. As a daily reporter and editor for the original news source, she covered beats including digital political campaigns and government regulation of the online ad industry. Kate is the author of Campaign '08: A Turning Point for Digital Media, the only book focused on the paid digital media efforts of the 2008 presidential campaigns. Kate created ClickZ's Politics & Advocacy section, and is the primary contributor to the one-of-a-kind section. She began reporting on the interactive ad industry in 1999 and has spoken at several events and in interviews for television, radio, print, and digital media outlets. You can follow Kate on Twitter at @LowbrowKate.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.

Resources

Jobs

    • Digital Marketing Analyst
      Digital Marketing Analyst (GovLoop) - Washington D.C.Are you passionate about audience acquisition? Love effective copy and amazingly effective...
    • Product Specialist
      Product Specialist (Agora Inc. ) - BaltimoreDescription: The Product Specialist is hyper-focused on the customer experience and ensures that our...
    • Partnerships Senior Coordinator
      Partnerships Senior Coordinator (Zappos.com, Inc.) - Las VegasZappos IP, Inc. is looking for a Partnerships Senior Coordinator! Why join us? Our...