Our RoI Has Been The Best From Digital: Charu Kishnani, CarDekho

Our aim is to keep innovating and come up with the next 'big' marketing campaign, she adds

It looks like the automobile industry has passed the turbulent pandemic times, catalysing a shift towards a preference for personal mobility. People are seen opting for personal mobility over shared mobility which makes the market a very optimistic one.

There has also been an overall change in market sentiment towards used cars with the second-hand car market growing significantly over the last few years. The market demand for used cars in the country is now almost 40 lakhs per annum. This is set to grow at a CAGR of 15 % and touch 8 million units by FY26. 

Elaborating on the current market landscape, Charu Kishnani, Senior Vice President- Marketing, CarDekho agrees to have crossed the speed breaker & aiming to stay resilient in their strategies.

Excerpts:


Q. What are some of the challenges and silver linings for the second-hand car dealers in India?

A few of the major challenges for used car dealers are the procurement of quality vehicles and inventory holding costs. Costs of refurbishment can also run high for a few vehicles. 

It is no secret that unorganised players still dominate the used car market. However, the silver lining is that the market share percentage is slowly but surely moving towards the organised players and customers are sure to get better customer service and reliability.

An increase in purchasing power of India's middle class, and a significant percentage of owners of two-wheelers moving towards pre-owned cars also bodes well for the industry.

Q. What are some of the engagement trends that you have observed on your platform in the past years? Has there been any significant change in consumer preferences post the pandemic? 

The number of new vehicle launches has increased over the years. Given the multitude of options and models available, more users are using CarDekho's comparison feature to narrow down a decision.

The number of sessions per visitor has also consistently grown on our website as has the dwell time. Our website has evolved over the years as we continue to add more features whilst keeping it as user-friendly as possible.

Our platform has also helped new/used car buyers reduce their research time significantly.

Earlier, most of the demand for our used cars was from Tier 1 cities or metros. Now, we have noticed that a major chunk of the demand is also coming from Tier 2 cities. We must thank technology for that.

Q. What kind of media mix do you typically follow? What channels have been dominant for you? What kind of budgets do you allocate to your marketing initiatives?

We follow a good mix of both ATL and BTL activities. For example, hoardings still play a key role in our marketing.

CarDekho is big on digital. Looking at our marketing funnel, the RoI has been the best from digital. Our latest campaigns have helped us get exceptionally good leads. #BharosaKarkeDekho campaign has emphasised our motto of trust and transparency. It has helped in increasing buyer confidence in purchasing used cars online. But this has also been possible because our teams have been delivering on the promises leading to customer delight.

Even though we have established a good brand recall value, in marketing we can never get complacent. Our aim is to keep innovating and come up with the next 'big' marketing campaign.

Q. Who does Cardekho consider its competition and how does it maintain a healthy market position?

Cardekho has been on a rapid growth trajectory, whilst ensuring a delightful experience for its customers. We don’t look at competition but only focus on improving our performance and providing a better experience to our customers every single day.

Cardekho works on its market position by offering our customers fair pricing for the products and services we offer. Our ad campaigns are aimed at building customer trust. They make us approachable to the audience while we work on growth and improvement. Our focus is on being transparent on the value proposition and the benefits we offer to our customers and offering a great experience, making us their first choice.

Q. Second-hand dealerships are often marred by apprehension, mistrust and low-interest rate. How does CarDekho allay such fears?

Cardekho aims at providing a delightful customer experience when it comes to buying a used car. Each car at CarDekho goes through 220+ checkpoints, undergoes detailed refurbishment under expert care and comes with an exclusive warranty, services such as free RC Transfer without hassle, 7-day money back guarantee etc. Expansive Inspection Reports, History and Specifications of the vehicles are available for the customer to make an informed decision. The feature of comparing multiple cars is another way we help a customer find the right match.

We also offer used car financing options for cars. Our aim is to create a simple, quick and transparent process for a seamless user experience.

Q. How do you look at the future of online automobile buying and selling vs physical stores?

While physical stores have been in existence since the beginning of time, the COVID-19 pandemic has expedited the shift toward online shopping in a few months. The automobile sector also saw a rapid change in customer preferences and behaviour.

Customers look for a personalised experience for automobile buying or selling. Cardekho aims to offer not just products, but experiences similar to being in a store. We offer a 360° experience of the car, with multiple pictures, reports, inspections etc. Our customers can schedule a test drive from the comfort of their homes for the car of their choice. In addition, home delivery of cars is also offered. This has led to tremendous growth and development and an experience at par with the experience one gets in the physical stores, which will lead to an increased online presence.

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