The site is introducing rich content such as video reviews to grow the roles it plays when car buyers are in the investigation stage of car buying, not just the point of purchase.
Jonathan Williams, consumer marketing director, says he wants the brand to “own buying and selling and all that is in between”.
Auto Trader currently attracts 12 million unique users a month, 2 million of which access the sit via mobile devices, but Williams also wants to deepen engagement and increase the number of return visits made by users.
As part of its efforts to build deeper relationships with motorists, Auto Trader is sponsoring Goodwood Moving Motor Show and the Goodwood Festival of Speed and is launching a co-branded app for the events, created by We Love Mobile and BD Network.
The events offer the online business an opportunity for consumers to engage with the brand in a way they wouldn’t normally, says Williams. He adds that it is a way to extend the brand beyond just buying and selling cars.
Williams says: “We’ve been a bit of a silent brand, and we punch below our weight. The reason we’re moving to a new brand territory is about getting people to come back to the site more often, in between the buying and selling occasions. We want to make Auto Trader the hub of content and information car buyers are looking for in the investigation stage.”
Auto Trader, which claims to be one of the Top 10 most searched for terms in the UK, launched its new car sales portal three years ago, but is predominantly seen as a second hand car dealer.
It is also redeveloping the search functionality on the site to address this by introducing a “vertical search environment” so that users can search without having to decide between searching used or new cars.
The company also plans to expand the number of relevant services it offers motorists such as finance packages and insurance.