2021 was a little less weird, but still weird, but also full of positive news from your friends at TradePending.
The Big Picture
We started the year by announcing our partnership with CapStreet, the Houston, TX based private equity firm to help continue to fuel our growth. We filled our first formal Board of Directors with industry leaders like David Metter and Ron Frey, and they’ve made immediate contributions to our company. We expanded our talented team from ~40 in Dec 2020 to nearly 70 folks in Dec 2021, something I’m particularly proud of and excited to see what these inspiring folks bring to our amazing customers.
Perhaps most notable, we affirmed that our vehicle valuation methodology could pass the test of unprecedented market volatility with flying colors. As used car prices began to appreciate, our daily updates and localized market data kept pace with the changes, ensuring the customers of our customers continued to get relevant trade-in ranges. And when dealers called us, we responded immediately. Today I know more dealers than ever trust our process and methodology, and more consumers than ever benefited from a grander picture of value, one driven by true local supply and demand.
Continued Product Growth
Trade, our flagship product, teed up more used vehicle acquisition opportunities than ever. As used car supply diminished and demand soared we saw total website conversion grow 42.5%, a HUGE number for our dealers. Even form completion (an area we’ve optimized to a “T” over the last 7 years but largely unchanged in 2021) grew an astonishing 26%!!!
This tireless workhorse helped deliver 2.35M leads to over 3,000 dealerships across the United States and Canada. Fun math: that’s roughly 6,400 leads per day or 268 inventory sourcing opportunities per hour.
That’s up 38% from last year, or 725,000 MORE used vehicle acquisition opportunities in 2021 vs. 2020. Dealers, we have your back in this ongoing battle for used cars!
More important than the raw numbers, helping dealerships source more used car inventory was our #1 priority in 2021, given the lack of new inventory coming from the manufacturers. We’re honored we get to play a role in their success.
The amount of leads submitted through mobile devices actually held steady this year at 74.7%, compared to 74.0% last year. One year doesn’t make a trend, but perhaps we’ve ended the season of peak mobile growth. We’ll see.
Customer adoption of Badges, our product that places market-specific badges on new and used car inventory, also grew 72% year over year. While many dealers felt they didn’t need to focus on merchandising their inventory in 2021, the savvy dealers doubled-down. They used Superlatives to showcase their trade-in offers and special financing options, while their sales people used the supply and demand badges to help justify holding their prices.
We officially launched “Offer” in October, and it’s been the most rapidly adopted product in our company’s history. During the trade-in process, Offer let’s dealers configure their own questions and deductions (which no other solution offers!), while moving customers further down the funnel and creating more qualified leads. We’ve implemented Offer on over 300 sites since launch, and the growth continues to outpace our forecasts.
The TradePending API also saw another big year. From December 2020 to December 2021 the amount of market reports, or the amount of trade-in valuations presented to consumers, delivered through the API grew 233%. In total for 2021, the API delivered over 8.7M trade-in valuations to consumers across our API partners.
We also launched an API for our Badges product, with Imagine Autos making creative use of this data for their 3rd party vehicle listing site, built for the TikTok generation.
We Love Our Support Team
Every software company says their support team is the best, and maybe they’re all right, but we can say with 100% certainty that our team is fantastic. Collectively they resolved over 65,000 tickets last year. They resolved 93.4% of those tickets in a single touch, and they closed all tickets in an average of 7.5 hours.
Stats like this also helped them win their first Stevie Award for incredible customer service. They brought home the bronze trophy in the category “Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year – Technology Industries”.
What’s in Store for 2022
At our current growth rate, our #1 corporate goal in 2022 is to take the #1 spot in website conversion tools that drive trade-in engagement, truly making us the authority in vehicle valuations. While our products and sales teams deserve a lot of credit for that growth, the bulk of the credit goes to the dealerships that embrace a modern approach to website conversions.
It’s no secret that the battle for used car inventory will get even more fierce this year. Inventory shortages will continue, Carvana, Vroom, and CarMax will stay aggressive with their strategies, and the pool of available used cars continues to shrink.
With that in mind, we’ll keep developing and evaluating products that make it easier for dealers to source inventory, and for consumers to get more valuable and relevant information.
Expect to see new things at NADA (swing by booth 6635N).