Online car sales platform reports record figures
‘Carsmile’, Poland’s biggest online platform for new car sales, has successfully supported its 2000th customer. By offering long term ‘remote only ‘ car rental to either individuals or small companies, it has grown rapidly despite traditional car dealerships reporting sharp declines in sales due to the pandemic crisis.
This start up, celebrating only its second birthday in June, reported 150 new contracts in May, close to its record sales (seen in February 2020) and threefold the figures reported in May 2019. February and March’s figures alone approximate to the annual sales of an average traditional dealership. Before the pandemic, a conventional dealership in Poland would sell approximately 350 cars a year (inclusive of large fleet acquisition corporate orders). In contrast, ‘Carsmile’s’ focus is on individuals and single person companies. Within just two years, ‘Carsmile’ has gained a 15% share of the car subscription market for individuals and small companies.
Lukasz Domanski, Carsmile CEO:
“The Covid 19 outbreak has unexpectedly changed customers’ attitudes and behaviours. People are used to shopping online for electronics, clothes and plane tickets. Now they make use of the internet and mobile apps to acquire an unprecedented range of products, from fresh food to cars. This is the new trend that won’t stop even when the pandemic is over”.
Carsmile conducts its operations through its market disruptive software, hosted by ‘carsmile.pl’. They seek to constantly improve their customer experience. As a result finding, setting up and finally acquiring your new car has never been easier. The site uses remarketing to tap internet and mobile users’ preferences and then guides them through a step by step process to the final car subscription agreement. The majority of ‘Carsmile’s’ users search for a car on their mobiles. Thanks to the RWD and AWD solutions, the process is available through multiple platforms including phone-based apps as well as browsers.
The process consists of: drawing internet and mobile users onto the platform and offering them a wide range of almost 1000 different models of cars, representing the vast majority of auto makers. This enables users to digitally authenticate, credit score, book test drives and finally download and electronically sign subscription agreements. Contract durations range from between two to five years. An entire transaction can last no more than a few minutes. The car is then delivered to the customer’s door (under the anti-Covid contactless procedure).
Michał Knitter, Carsmile board member and vice president says:
“It’s not a miracle that we are reporting these record sales, whilst the European automotive industry is contracting by 67% on a yearly basis with new car registrations in Poland are falling at a similar pace. It’s an absolute belief that within five years, one out of four new cars sold in Poland will be acquired online. The pandemic crisis has only accelerated this inevitable future”
Carsmile is a private company that was set up and founded by Domanski and Knitter. Over the last 12 months the majority stake has been acquired by ‘Solter Capital VC’. Carsmile is now also close to leasing the software platform that it currently operates to other dealerships inclusive of a servicing and advisory role.