Online Auto Shopping: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words & Specifications -

Online auto shoppers spend two-thirds of their time consuming photos/videos vs. textual research materials

Cambridge, MA, October 10, 2007 - CarGurus (, a leading online automotive community, today announced the results of a six-month study of online auto consumers that shows new-car shoppers spend the majority of their time (62 percent, or nearly two-thirds, of pages viewed) looking at photos and videos vs. other forms of online auto research (articles, user reviews, specifications, pricing, etc.). This demonstrates that in an industry that typically highlights textual information such as features and specifications, online auto marketers should take note of the growing demand for visuals.

"Given the explosive growth of online photo and video sites like Flickr and YouTube, it is not surprising to see that new-car shoppers prefer to research cars visually," remarked Langley Steinert, CEO of CarGurus. "What is surprising is to see how many online auto marketers neglect to spotlight the visual aspects of a new car and instead choose to highlight textual lists of features and specifications."

While some online auto marketers embrace the use of online video and robust picture galleries, the majority of auto websites and online advertisements primarily employ textual descriptions of features, specifications, or promotions (such as special headlamps, DVD systems, extended warranties) and often have limited photo galleries and video.

"With the proliferation of broadband connections, online video and robust picture galleries provide an opportunity for online auto marketers to create more visual campaigns," noted Steinert. "Cars are an emotional purchase. Providing visual research tools to online consumers allows consumers to connect with a car emotionally. CarGurus' content is driven by our user base, and we've seen a tremendous upswing in the posting and viewing of visual content, which new-car buyers clearly prefer."

CarGurus' Research Methodology

During the six months from March to August 2007, CarGurus ( tracked visitors researching new cars on its site. Page views for different types of research were summarized and allocated into two types of activities: Visual (photos, videos) and Textual (user reviews, articles, specifications, pricing, etc.). Higher page views generally indicate a more engaged viewer spending more time at a site. During this timeframe, CarGurus received over 1.1 million unique visitors. The results of the study appear in the table below:

Online Auto Research Behavior (New Cars)
% Page Views for Visual vs. Textual Information
March - August 2007
% Pages Viewed
Visual (photos, videos) 62
Textual (articles, user reviews, specifications, pricing, etc.) 38
Total 100

About CarGurus LLC

Located in Harvard Square, Cambridge MA, CarGurus LLC is an online automotive community founded by Langley Steinert, formerly Chairman and co-founder TripAdvisor LLC. CarGurus' founders, board, and investors bring a wealth of experience from such leading web companies as TripAdvisor, eBay, Expedia, and Yahoo. For more information about CarGurus visit us at

Amy Mueller