The concept behind Google Cars is actually quite simple. Rather than having to click through specific websites to find prices and inventory for a certain make or model, consumers can navigate to Google Cars and have a convenient list of inventory available all on one page directly in the search results. Similar to pay per click marketing, Google Cars works by using a bidding system in which dealers can bid a certain amount, up to a cap, for a specific lead. This allows for plenty of flexibility and planning when pursuing leads but, it also has drawbacks. In order to protect consumer information much like Craigslist does, dealers are only given a name, phone number, and email which come from a proxy source and can only be contacted a maximum of six times, thus diminishing the effectiveness of a lead. Also, without content like car reviews or automotive news, it may be hard to pry customers away from existing sites that do provide information rich material that users want to see before making a purchase. Furthermore, experiences with Google Cars have also varied greatly. Some Bay Area dealers reported an increase in leads while others admitted that they had only converted one lead to a sale in the past seven months.
Even though the true effectiveness of this system has yet to be seen, the implications cannot be ignored. With the sheer size, resources, and consumer data at Google’s disposal, Google Cars will undoubtedly edge its way into the market one way or another. With the launch of Google Cars in the rest of California imminent, it is only a matter of time before car dealers and consumers alike will see the impact it has on the industry for themselves. Read More →