Many people live in the land of “used to.” I used to work out. I used to run four miles a day. I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight. Then reality sets in, and sometimes we realize we lack the discipline to stay the course — or in my case, reinstating into my routine healthy habits I “used to” follow. But if you try, I believe you can build discipline to the point where you automatically wake up and go to the gym without deliberating over whether you should wake up and go. You just do it.
Discipline is also necessary to stay competitive in your job — especially if you work in the automotive industry. A case in point: Cars.com.
In 2017, we stopped saying “used to” and made a lot of changes. These changes took time and discipline to think differently than how we had in the past. We experienced discomfort along the way, which is to be expected when you improve. If you start going to the gym, you might experience extreme soreness two days after the workout.
One major change we made to our site — that caused some discomfort — occurred when we changed our default sort order from highest price to a relevance-based algorithm called “Best Match.” This change was our “used to” moment. I couldn’t find anyone who was able to explain how sorting inventory highest price to lowest even made any sense anymore. We used to do it one way — but the old way of doing things no longer was relevant with the consumer.
But making this change was important to reflect consumers’ expectations based on their experiences in other industries. Consumers who shop online are familiar with relevance-type sorts on sites they use every day such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Nordstrom. We can all relate to the experience of making a purchase on those sites based on featured products you might like, based on the site’s ability to personalize content owing to your past behavior. Along the same lines, Cars.com stepped up to give our consumers the same opportunity to shop in a way that is most natural and familiar to them. We start with relevant matches, and the consumer sorts and filters to find the right car at the right price from the dealer and sales rep of their choice. In fact, many dealer websites have a form of relevancy built in as well.
Dealerships: if you experience “used to” thinking, then today is the day to turn things around. The evolved Cars.com helps you merchandise better, price better, and list all the pertinent information you can about the vehicle so that the consumer doesn’t blow past your listing and buy from your competitor. There are a few tools that are available to you to help guide toward a better merchandising discipline. Visit www.growwithcars.com and log in to your account and view the dashboard to get a quick overview.
Developing a discipline to put forward your best self takes time. You are not alone. We have a team of sales and support reps who can help guide you toward developing the discipline necessary to present inventory that is chosen by the consumer and purchased from your lot.