Since first producing commercialized vehicles in the 1890s, the automotive industry has grown to rely on outdated traditions ingrained into the car buying process.
Despite vast improvements and efficiencies made to vehicles over the past century, car buying etiquette remains reliant on physical dealerships and age-old practices. While the internet has altered the process to a degree, shopping for a vehicle – new or used – still requires a trip to the dealership, high-pressure salespeople, long wait times, and all sorts of hidden fees. For some industry professionals, enough was enough.
Life-long automotive professionals have found themselves falling out of love with the industry they represent, recognizing its need for adaptation to the buying process employed by the rest of the modern world. Which takes us to today, a pandemic-stricken reality where every industry has made digital transitions to stay afloat. United by the call for innovation, a team of Canadian entrepreneurs and automotive professionals saw an opportunity to disrupt the industry and introduce something new to the market.
In 2021, Carooga launched an entirely eCommerce used car sales platform to the Canadian market and consumers welcomed them with open arms. Carooga’s concept? Provide a unique car shopping experience by allowing customers to pre-qualify for financing fully online, then shop for their vehicle using their personalized rate and have it delivered right to their door. All completed from the comfort of your couch.
“We’ve seen others offer a similar service but those tend to only provide portions online” says Jillian Loeppky, Brand Officer with Carooga. “Particularly they are not setup to automate vehicle financing, which is the most time-consuming component of a purchase.”
What many would consider less than ideal business circumstances, launching a business during a pandemic, Carooga saw an opportunity due to dramatic changes in consumer behaviour. Having the ability to shop safely from the security of their own home was just one of the many qualities that make Carooga a unique and preferable experience.
Carooga recently facilitated a Canada-wide survey to gather insights on what today’s car buyers are looking for in the vehicle purchasing process. Survey results showed consumers have grown to prefer online shopping and have become more skeptical of a dealership environment.
The survey found 79% of respondents would choose to avoid visiting a dealership when buying their next car if possible. An additional 79% of respondents said they would purchase their next car online if it was a safe and reliable option. With the constant changes in the automotive industry, specifically recent inventory shortages, traditional dealerships are at a crossroads, knowing they need to change but unable to serve their customers’ best interests.
Their issue, as this same study found, is consumer mistrust of dealerships has increased dramatically, with 65% of respondents noting that they feel dealerships are unfair in the pricing of vehicles. Another 46% of respondents shared that their least favourite part of dealerships is hidden fees during the final steps of the buying process. Managing customer perceptions and addressing skepticism is necessary, specifically when it’s related to the pricing and final costs.
Analyzing the results of this study, it comes as no surprise to hear consumers are leaning towards online models. Carooga combats a lot of these issues with the fact you don’t need to pay more to cover fancy showrooms or overhead, because they don’t have any. This enables an online model to provide buyers one price, that no longer needs to be negotiated and zero bogus add-on charges. All while facilitating your transaction as a trusted friend rather than the intimidation of a salesperson.
Carooga now operates by using its very own, fully-automated technology that provides real-time financing data to consumers. This technology is the first of its kind in Canada and gives power back to the buyer by providing up-front direct financing options. All with zero impact to your credit score, until a purchase is actually facilitated.
Carooga’s success comes as a result of its goal to eliminate the hassles and difficulties that come from car dealerships and provide buyers with a comfortable, easy, and enjoyable alternative. By knowing the sensitive areas of the buying process, Carooga has been able to re-evaluate each step of the transaction and simplify the process for the benefit of the buyer.
The future of car sales is here and Carooga will bring it right to your doorstep.