SANTA MONICA, Calif. — October 28, 2014 — Edmunds.com, the premier destination for car shopping, today announced its first-ever acquisition: CarCodeSM, a mobile service that allows car shoppers to engage in one-on-one text messaging with dealers. The technology will be deployed across Edmunds’ network of dealerships nationwide and will be provided on a complimentary basis to both dealers and consumers alike.
“Car shoppers are clamoring for mobile solutions and we saw an opportunity to provide an on-demand mobile experience through the CarCode platform,” said Seth Berkowitz, Edmunds.com president. “We are laser-focused on streamlining the car shopping experience and this acquisition is just one example of the investment we are making in mobile technology to achieve our goal. We think CarCode provides a very relevant service that ties directly to the growing trend in mobile showrooming and shopping.”
CarCode is a cloud-based SMS texting platform, tailored specifically to the needs of car dealerships, allowing them to receive and respond to customers via text messages directly from their mobile phones. Participating dealers will receive text message leads from Edmunds and have the opportunity to also add a “Text Us” button on their own mobile sites -- which has proven to drive high levels of engagement from car shoppers. Dealers can manage their conversations with buyers with a simple interface, showing unanswered messages and average response time.
Edmunds discovered CarCode when the startup entered and won Edmunds’ second annual Hackomotive challenge last February, an event designed to encourage innovation in solving car shopping pain points. Edmunds.com supported further development of CarCode through its three-month Fastlane Accelerator program.
“We developed CarCodeSMS after realizing customers weren’t able to communicate with dealerships the way a growing number of them actually preferred, via text messaging,” said Nick Gorton, who grew up working in car dealerships before founding CarCodeSMS alongside co-founders Steve Schwartz and Prabode Weebadde. Concurrently with this acquisition Gorton joined Edmunds as Executive Director of Product Management.
In 2014 alone, Edmunds.com witnessed a 39 percent year-over-year increase in mobile usage. A recent study conducted by Edmunds.com confirmed this trend, where 100 percent of smartphone users said that they used a mobile device at some point in the purchase process. As a result, Edmunds is investing heavily in mobile, the newest initiative being the Lot BuddySM app feature that instantly reveals special offers to car shoppers as they arrive at participating dealerships.
About Edmunds.com, Inc.
Car-shopping website Edmunds.com serves nearly 18 million visitors each month. With Edmunds.com Price Promise®, shoppers can get an instant, upfront price for cars and trucks currently for sale at 10,000 dealer franchises across the U.S. Car shoppers can browse not only inventory listings at Edmunds.com and on its acclaimed apps, but also comprehensive car reviews, shopping tips, photos, videos and feature stories. Named by Maritz Research as one of the most trusted online consumer review sites — and the only automotive site listed in the top ten — Edmunds.com welcomes all car-shopping questions on its free Live Help Line at 1-855-782-4711 and email@example.com, via text at ED411 and on Twitter and Facebook. Based in Santa Monica with a satellite office in downtown Detroit, Edmunds.com can also be found on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+ and Flipboard.