The way consumers shop has changed significantly since Cars.com first launched more than 15 years ago, and in that time, we’ve continually evolved our site experience to align with shifts in shopper behavior. Today, we’re excited to announce a newly designed version of our site, making it the best Cars.com yet.
“After extensive testing and user research, we had a distinct sense of what consumers were looking for from us,“ said Nathan Norman, Cars.com Director of User Experience and Design. “We used that feedback to create a better customer experience and improve our site.”
While the content on Cars.com remains largely the same, we now have a clean new look and a simple visual layout. We hope you’ll take a moment to check it out and share your thoughts in the comments below. Here are a few key changes to note:
New Visual Homepage
With a stunning new search box and streamlined categories, the refreshed Cars.com homepage helps direct shoppers to the information they’re looking for as seamlessly as possible. Whether it’s learning about safety features from our editorial team, reading consumer reviews or browsing specific new and used inventory, the updated layout makes navigating the site more intuitive than ever. In addition, you may notice a bit more of our favorite color (purple, of course) accenting the header, footer and other various sections of the page.
A Connected Wired and Mobile Experience
With about 1/3 of Cars.com’s site traffic coming from mobile devices, our user experience team saw a clear need to ingrate our customers’ desktop and mobile shopping experiences. As a result, the updated Cars.com site was developed with the multi-screened shopper in mind.
“The new site is aimed at improving the usability of the desktop site on tablets and mobile devices,” said Norman. “The standards include additional white space around clickable elements, larger tap-targets (links, images, etc), swipe-able elements and oversize typography.”
The faster page load speed of the new platform also adds to the convenience of mobile shopping, while the consistent layout keeps the feel of Cars.com the same between mobile and wired browsing.
Increased Exposure to Dealer Profile Page and Dealer Reviews
Nearly 80% of Cars.com shoppers considering purchasing a new vehicle seek out information about dealerships — not just inventory — during their shopping process. Not only are shoppers doing research and browsing inventory, they’re seeking information about what they can expect if they choose to purchase a vehicle from your dealership.
With the refreshed design, Dealer Reviews and dealership profile information are front and center, so it’s important to update your dealership profile page with video, photos, store hours and a description and showcase your store’s reputation through Dealer Reviews. Remember, you can access and update your dealer profile information 24/7 under the “admin” tab in DealerCenter.
“As always, consumers are looking for accurate photos, vehicle descriptions and pricing,” said Norman. “The Dealer Profile Page also provides an outstanding opportunity for dealers to begin to tell their story.”
Consumers are routed to the dealership profile page by clicking a dealership’s name in both the “Find a Dealer” section, which sorts dealerships by franchise and location, and on vehicle detail pages. Dealer Reviews are also featured when a shoppe hover over a specific location marker on the map in the “Find a Dealer” search results.
Though the heavy lifting is over, Cars.com’s user experience and product teams will continue to adapt and improve the site design.
“It’s great to see how far we’ve come,” said Norman. “We know this update is going to add to our already solid shopping experience, but our goal is to never stop improving.”
To see just how far Cars.com has evolved over the years, take a look at a visual history of the Cars.com site and let us know what you think of the redesign in the comments below.
[iframe src=”https://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/16007743?rel=0″ width=”512″ height=”421″ frameborder=”0″ marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” style=”border:1px solid #CCC;border-width:1px 1px 0;margin-bottom:5px” allowfullscreen webkitallowfullscreen mozallowfullscreen> </iframe> <div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/DealerADvantage/carscom-1996-to-2013-16007743″ title=”Cars.com 1996 to 2013″ target=”_blank”>Cars.com 1996 to 2013</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/DealerADvantage” target=”_blank”>Cars.com DealerADvantage</a></strong> </div]