Just how much impact does a third-party site like Cars.com have on dealers’ sales, service, and growth? Cars.com partnered with analytics firm Transparency to find the answer by analyzing dealer data across the United States. The results underscore the value of Cars.com’s audience: Cars.com influences 60 percent of average dealers’ sales and service transactions, delivering more than $91,000 of self-reported service profit per month.

During the first quarter of 2017, Transparency and Cars.com performed a comprehensive analysis of sales data from more than 150 dealerships across the United States to understand the impact of third-party sites on dealerships’ overall performance. Transparency first collected dealer management system transactional data (sales and service). Then Transparency matched that DMS data to the IP addresses of consumers in dealers’ markets; anonymized their private information; and cross-referenced the data against anonymous IP data that Cars.com supplied. And then Transparency tallied up some interesting results:

  • Cars.com Influences Sales: On average Cars.com drives 63 total sales per month, per dealer, 43 of which are first-time sales (that haven’t purchased or serviced with the dealer previously in the last five years).
  • Cars.com Delivers Both New and Used Car Sales: Overall, Cars.com had a significant influence on new (63%) and used (74%) first-time dealership visitor car sales and influenced over 46% of TOTAL sales for the dealerships included in the study.
  • Cars.com Fuels Growth: Cars.com influenced 60% of the average dealerships’ sales and service transactions delivering over $91,000 of self-reported service profit per month during Q1.

Clearly, Cars.com has a significant influence on consumer behavior online and on the dealership lot. The question for dealers: how well are you tracking and attributing the value of a third-party site like Cars.com? The Transparency study is an important reminder that dealers need to attribute sales data very carefully and accurately in order to know how and where to invest their marketing budgets properly.

Interested in more data from the study?  Click the image below to download a copy of our one-page case study summary.

For more insight, get a copy of the full case study or request your own attribution report to understand how Cars.com is fueling your dealerships’ growth engine.