Tag Archives: ryvuss

9 Things Moving Soloautos in Mexico


carsales push into controlling positions in Mexico and Chile follows our successful deploy of IP and tech services into our minority, strategic positions in Brazil and South Korea.

Here’s 9 things we’ve implemented into Soloautos.mx in September that we think will give the business a kick along:

1. New logo. For the first we have introduced the carsales “swish” to one of our global partner’s logos making it instantly recognizable as a carsales brand. We’ve kept the Soloautos red and black in the logo but have made all the letters lower case to give it a more modern look.
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2. New website. Now much cleaner, stronger action points throughout the site with larger vehicle photos. Along with the new logo, the new website signals to Mexico that Soloautos is on the move. Our first few weeks have already seen a significant increase in pages per visit and a lowering in bounce rate.

3. Ryvuss search. carsales’ proprietary search platform has been integrated into the new website giving Soloautos best in class search and search navigation capabilities.
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4. New sell pages. Cleaner and clearer process to point sellers to the selling package that is right for them. First day live with new sell pages was a record day in terms of ads placed and this positive trend continued in the first few weeks.
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5. Deeper Autologia integration. Autologia is our editorial brand which we have now integrated tightly into the new website. This is a great result for all car buyers, researchers and enthusiasts visiting Soloautos.
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6. Better SEO structures. This is a very important piece of the new website so the right information in the Soloautos website can be found by consumers searching for cars in Mexico – remember Google is for searching, Soloautos is for finding.

7. Move into AWS. By moving Soloatuos into the cloud we immediately get an uplift in scalability, reliability, disaster recovery options and response times, not to mention carsales management and support with the website now sitting next to all carsales other online assets.

8. New display advertising options. The new Soloautos website enables us to offer OEM’s, dealers, finance companies, insurance companies and the like more targeted, integrated advertising options that compliments the inventory and editorial focus of the site.

9. Back end integration. Not only does the new website integrate seamlessly with the existing Soloautos dealer control panel, it also integrates into the carsales Autogate system. This enables Soloautos to provide an increased level of service to existing dealers using existing tools and also gives Soloautos the opportunity to leverage from Autogate’s proven lead management features.

This is just the start of things to come and it is certainly an exciting time for Soloautos and Mexicans looking to buy and sell cars!


Achieving Economies of Scale


carsales push into the Spanish speaking Latin America countries of Mexico and Chile enables it to get achieve economies of scale in technology and other areas of its business.

The push has been on to deliver our web site platform and dealer applications that are successful in Australia, through Latin America with the specific goal of being able to “Spanishise” (probably a stretch to give it a word) the platform and get multiple uses from it, thus achieving economies of scale.
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We have learnt, however, that achieving economies of scale can sometimes be a false economy if not done with a complete appreciation of all the factors in the new geographical location you are entering. Just picking something up and dropping it in another country will not necessarily work.

carsales and Webmotors.com.br were keen to give Webmotors the “carsales feel” so in addition to adding the Ryvuss search engine, the three main pages being the Home page, Search Results page and Vehicle Details page were all redesigned using the carsales template.

When the development was complete we were all very excited to launch the new site but it didn’t take us long to realise that we had misjudged the Brazilian users. There were a few things they had on the old Webmotors site that they felt were super important in buying a car and were not backwards in coming forwards to tell us about it.
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Quite a few subtle changes were required to meet the expectations of the local users. This was our first lesson that picking up exactly what works in one country will necessarily be the optimum solution in another country.

What about regions within a country? Webmotors made two acquisitions of leading regional automotive web sites shortly after we invested in the business. The first was Meurcarango.com.br which was the number 1 player in the North East of Brazil. The second was Compreauto.com.br which was the number 1 player in the Sao Paulo country side.
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The plan was a simple one – let’s get some quick wins by using the Webmotors platform to drive each of the new websites. Each website would take on the same look and feel (with it’s own colours and logos) and same features. This would enable us to achieve economies of scale in maintaining one Brazilian wide platform down the track.

In both Meurcarango and Compreauto we quickly realized that the response from the user base within each region was similar to what we experienced with the Webmotors site.
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So while we won’t get economies of scale by simply putting a Spanish version of what we have in Australia, we will get enormous benefits through economies of scale across the platform driving the websites and the dealer applications. An example of where we are already achieving this is with our Ryvuss search engine which is already in use by Webmotors and Encar.com in South Korea.

Our dealer applications like Autogate is where we will see great benefits through “Spanishisation” as they are not as open to user nuances by country or region as a consumer facing website is. This is where we expect to get even bigger benefits from working on the one global platform.

All in all carsales is in a great position of leveraging from proven IP and a technology base that can move the needle in these countries. I can’t wait to see Soloautos.mx and Chileautos.cl benefiting from this.


6 Things We’ve Learnt About Our Business in Brazil


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carsales.com.au entered the Brazilian market a little over 2 1/2 years after it’s acquisition of 30% of Webmotors.com.au. It’s fair to say that in that time we have learnt a hell of a lot about ourselves and doing business in Brazil. As a strategic investor we have been very hands on with the Webmotors team as well as being active at a Board level.

So here’s 6 things that we’ve discovered about our business in Brazil:

1. It’s expensive. For a start it is a long way to Brazil and not conducive to a couple of days trip so it gets expensive to travel there regularly. Starting a business entity is difficult and expensive. A range of taxes including a ~40% tax on expenses paid in foreign currency is something to learn about quickly. Then there’s little things like office rents which get inflated with all the extra services required/expected in Brazil such as extra electronic security, security personnel, full time cleaners, etc.

2. Regions are important. This one has been an important learning in regards to our strategy. It is not uncommon for online brands to have varying degrees of popularity in different geographical areas but we were not used to coming up against so many smaller, regional online plays that had a great following from not only consumers but also from the dealers. This has led us to two acquisitions so far of these regional plays in Meucarango.com.br and Compreauto.com.br. This is a big difference to the Australian market.

3. Dealers are dealers. Car dealers in Brazil have pretty much the same challenges, objectives, profit margins, profit drivers, structure, etc as car dealers in Australia. There are always going to be little differences but overall the great initiatives and products carsales has brought to the Australian market are applicable to the Brazilian market. This is great to have confidence in the strategic direction we are bringing to Webmotors.

4. Consumers are consumers. Like dealers we have found that consumers have the same needs and wants in Brazil as Australia. Like carsales, consumers come to Webmotors to find, sell or learn about cars, nothing else. It was great to learn that many thousands of consumers want to contact dealers via email form, as well as by phone, and the ratios are very similar to what we have with carsales. Private sellers are willing to pay for a premium service that works even though there are general classifieds giants offering a “freemium” service. Again, this gives us further confidence in the carsales strategic direction in Brazil.

5. User Interface. One of the first things the Webmotors team was keen to do when we had the capability was to replicate the carsales website. We added the Ryvuss search engine, structured the user interface around carsales and our users of the web site immediately gave us feedback. Feedback is always good to receive even if it is not so good as it provides the chance to change for the better and this is what we did. The changes we had to make weren’t significant but they did provide an insight into what our users expect on Webmotors which is a little different to carsales.

6. Culture is good. It has been a great experience working with the Webmotors team of ~200 people. They are not afraid to put the hours in when it is required and the passion is the most obvious characteristic which is not unlike carsales. The people have been the best and easiest part of carsales strategic position in Webmotors. Language has not been a barrier as all of the senior people are fluent in English from usually US education. Brazilians and Australians are not unlike apart from some obvious differences, this has been the best part.

I’m sure all businesses and industries are different in attempting to do business in Brazil. These are just 6 things that have had an impact in our decision making and direction.