With changing urban culture and Digital commerce revolution, each and everything is accessible with just one click. This has encouraged the Automobile industry to reach out to the prospective customers through the eCommerce route.
In a bid to understand the pros and cons of online car portals, Retailer Media caught up with Vinay Sanghi, Founder-CEO, Cartrade.com.
How do you perceive the market of the Indian used car segment?
Way back in 2008, we found the Indian used car market to be highly fragmented and this made the purchasing process very difficult for the consumers. CarTrade.com was started in 2009 with the vision of simplifying the used car buying process and making it more transparent. To achieve this, we created a structured platform where buyers and sellers can meet and transact in cars. Over the last five years, we have grown significantly and I expect the same trend to continue in the future as well. The entire journey has been very exciting and it has been a great learning curve.
How do you verify and maintain standards?
Uncertainty regarding the quality of the used car is one of the biggest challenges consumers face in this market. To build the consumers’ trust, we have an in-house team of engineers who inspect the listed cars and certify the ones that satisfy our rigorous quality standards. We also provide free 100-day warranty for such certified cars. A condition report is also provided for these cars, which enables the buyers to learn the exact condition of the car before making the purchase. Such practices enable us to control the quality of the vehicles that we list and also to maintain our high standards.
In what way are you bringing efficiency to the car buying process?
The used car market in India witnesses the sale of around 3 million cars annually. Earlier, there was no online platform which offered buyers and sellers a true auto ecosystem to transact with each other efficiently and transparently. CarTrade.com is designed to bring efficiency to the car buying process by aggregating the fragmented used car market. Consumers do not have to visit numerous dealers to get car information or find the car they are looking for.
We have a network of more than 4,600 used car dealers and 400 new car dealers who list their cars through our platform. These dealers subscribe to one of our packages which decides the level of benefits that they can avail from CarTrade.com.
What are your strategies to compete with other contenders of this industry?
The website has unique offerings for our consumers in both the new cars and used car segment which helps us differentiate ourselves from our competitors.
For New Car Buyers, CarTrade.com offers the most up-to-date information, reviews (user & expert), specifications, research tools and On-Road prices from the dealers.
Our unique offerings in the used car space includes a large inventory (1,85,000+ used cars), used car price information (CarTrade Right Price Buying Index), Certification for cars (condition report) that comes with free 100-day warranty, and free road-side assistance.
For consumers looking to sell their used car, we provide Instant offers from the dealers and we also list their cars for free on our website if they wish to sell them to other customers.
Do you have plans to open a physical outlet?
We don’t have plans to open our own physical outlet, but we have franchised dealer outlets specialising in the used car sales. These franchisees have CarTrade.com branded boards and marketing merchandise which help in promoting the dealerships. This enables such franchisees to receive higher exposure for their cars, thus generating higher number of enquiries and sales than other dealers.
How has been the response from your app?
We have received tremendous response for our App with nearly a million downloads and over 6 lakh unique monthly visitors. With the increasing number of Smartphone users and increase in Internet penetration, we expect this number to grow significantly in the future.
We have also redesigned our app to improve the user experience through a cleaner and more intuitive design. We are looking to develop more innovative tools in the mobile platform to serve our customers better.
What are your expansion plans for this fiscal?
We are looking to expand to 25 more cities within a year which will increase our inventory. We are also looking to increase our existing dealer base in all existing cities. We also expect our customer base to expand over 5-6 times in the next 5 years, along with the used car market expected to double over the same time frame.