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Slow search engines threaten internet car retailers

Carrie Bird, head of business development at used car specialist CarsAlive warns that internet car buyers are increasingly likely to click the escape button if kept waiting by sluggish software or irritating advertising.

"Irritating pop-up advertising, complicated buying options and pedestrian-paced download times are leading many frustrated on-line car buyers to abandon their internet searches for new and used cars.

With some car-buying web sites taking minutes (rather than seconds) to deliver search results the number of consumer requests 'never leaving the garage' might be higher than previously estimated.

We've been polling the opinions of over 10,000 prospective car buyers during the last two years. Consumers are increasingly impatient and expect immediate results - 80% of internet users polled admitted cancelling requests if kept waiting.

It's essential to highlight the importance of meeting the expectations of on-line buyers at every stage. Getting prospects to the point where they search your stock is just one phase of the marketing battle - then you've got to quickly deliver results to someone whose finger might be hovering over the cancel button.

Consumer feedback is perhaps most pertinent to internet advertising sites representing dealers and has influenced the CarsAlive service to users.

We recognised the demand for a 'high performance' search engine that concentrated on the core business of quickly locating the right cars and the right dealers for consumers. Over 950 franchised dealers work with us and customers have access to 30,000 cars, however 90% of searches are returning up to 50 results within 10 seconds.”

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