The online used car market is booming and has seen considerable growth in the last three years. We interact with Vinay Sanghi, Founder CEO, Cartrade.com to know more.
Cartrade.com started in 2009. How has the journey been so far?
In 2009, we observed that there was a huge potential for the use of internet as a medium to help consumers buy and sell cars. So we started CarTrade.com as an online platform which offers choice, convenience and efficiency in the buying and selling process. Over the last five years we have grown significantly and I expect the same trend to continue in the future as well. This entire journey has been exciting and it has been a great learning curve.
How has the concept of online classifieds evolved over the years?
Earlier, there was no online platform which offered consumers and dealers a true auto ecosystem/marketplace to transact with each other efficiently and transparently. CarTrade.com is designed to bring efficiency to the car buying process by aggregating the fragmented car market. Consumers do not have to visit numerous dealers to get car information or find out about the car they are looking for. Everything is available at one destination, which is at CarTrade.com.
What are the various services that you currently offer?
CarTrade.com is one of India's largest marketplaces that helps consumers to buy or sell a car with ease as we have over 1.6 lakh used car listings on our website. We get the used cars certified by our experts which become eligible for free 100 days warranty. Special features like 'Book a test drive', 'Check on-road price', and the Offers from the manufacturers are some of the offerings for the new car segment.
Can you elaborate on the current trends in the used car market?
The current trend in the used car market is that more and more users are using online platforms to buy and sell cars. Nearly 80% of the users of this online space belong to the age group of 18-34 years. The most popular body styles amongst the consumers are Hatchbacks and Sedans. About 52.6% of the consumers prefer Hatchbacks while 30% prefer Sedans.
What are the changes that you have seen in the used car market in the last five years?
Over the last five years, the tendency of the consumers to use internet as the primary medium to search for their desired car has increased steadily. Over the last three years our website's unique visitors have increased dramatically. The most recent trend is the propensity to use mobile as the preferred platform as it contributes to over 55% of our traffic. With the further penetration of internet, we expect our customer base to expand over 5-6 times over the next five years along with the used car market expected to double over the same time frame.
In the present scenario, there are a lot of players in the industry which you are in. How do you differentiate yourself from the competition?
The website has unique offerings for its consumers in both the new cars and used cars segmentwhichhelps us differentiate ourselves from our competitors.
For New Car Buyers, we offer the most up to date information, reviews (user & expert), specifications, prices and research tools. We also provide several unique offerings in the used car space that enables a transparent and efficient buying process. This includes a large inventory (1,60,000+ used cars), used car price information (CarTrade Right Price Buying Index), Certification for cars (condition report) that comes with free 100 days warranty, free road side assistance. These tools enables the consumer to make an informed choice.
Any challenges that you face in doing business?
The biggest challenge we face is changing the traditional mindsets of car dealers on using technology and online mediums to benefit them. On the consumers' side, it is adding elements of trust in our product which will help them choose the right car for themselves with confidence.
What is the current count of your stores? Any expansion plans?
We are currently present in 78 cities across India.We are looking to expand to more cities and to increase our dealer base in the existing cities.