Without a doubt, Americans are struggling to get their hands on new and used cars, and paying more when they do. Chip shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent supply chain disruptions have greatly limited supply at a time when demand is high.

Despite the competition to attract buyers, popular automotive research and shopping website Cars.com appears to have successfully gotten Americans’ attention in the past few months.

Looking at Cars.com’s sales conversion funnel within Harris Brand Platform, we see a significant rise in the brand’s consumer awareness (69.2 to 76.6) and familiarity (41.6 to 46) scores between (5/2021 – 7/2021) and (11/21 -2/1/22).

Want more insights on the automotive industry? Checkout our report, Automotive & Transportation: An Industry Snapshot for industry trends.

Charge in Cars.com’s Sales Conversion Funnel

Cars.com sales conversion funnel

However, data suggests that this increased familiarity has not shifted consumers’ likelihood to try or use the brand. Their trial score remained relatively consistent (24.3 to 22.1).

These consumer increases in awareness and familiarity correspond with a similar rise in consumers reporting an increased awareness of the brand’s TV advertising (30.7 to 36.5).

While Cars.com has significantly raised their brand awareness with consumers between mid-2021 to early-2022, more work is needed to increase consumer trial and usage of their service. However, trial may naturally rise as the supply chain rights itself, more cars go to market, and price-conscious consumers are once again able to find affordable options for purchasing a new or used car.


Catherine Ake

Senior Marketing and Content Strategist

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