7 minute read - May 30, 2020

How Carvana became the #1 all-online used car marketplace by showing the ugly

How Carvana became the leader in the used car marketplace by focusing on transparency and investing in photography that shows off their car’s imperfections.
Darren Blench
Enterprise Partnerships

With COVID-19 preventing in-person visits to dealerships Carvana is one of the few car dealers still doing well, thanks to their ability to sell cars all-online. The company puts a focus on quality and transparency, cleverly using photography to help emphasize these points to car shoppers. Carvana’s novel use of enhanced car images provides additional information that most automotive dealers try to hide, increasing trust and credibility which helps Carvana succeed in selling cars all-online.

The average buyer spends 96 on the market and most of that time is spent online looking at car photos [1]. That is a lot of time spent researching and buyers don’t want to waste time scrolling through pages of text information, strongly preferring to just look at car photos. Carvana recognizes this and has created a better car buying experience by incorporating information, such as damages, into their car galleries which makes the car shopping experience much smoother.

“With the ability to experience multiple vehicles inside and out and closely examine any imperfections that are present on the vehicle (customers can zoom in 12x to see imperfections in high definition), buying a car online becomes much less of a mystery and much less time-consuming thanks to this proprietary technology the goal is for an end result that provides an easy and simple user experience.” - Carvana [2]

Here’s an example of Carvana’s enhanced car photo technology showing exterior damages.

Having high-quality car photos and a beautiful gallery is essential for dealers looking to attract car buyers online. But it’s also an important component of building trust with the car buyer. If a used-car buyer sees a blurry or low-resolution image, they will immediately think that the image might be hiding something. Having clear, high-resolution images is the best way to accurately represent a car and improves the credibility of the dealer. Carvana methodically photographs all of its cars and photography is a critical part of Carvana’s overall strategy that focuses on quality and trust. This has helped Carvana’s rise to the number 1 all-online car buying platform and stand apart from its competitors.

“It’s a differentiator, it’s part of the Carvana culture of giving you full transparency when you go to buy a vehicle. You can look at it inside and out, you can zoom in on it, we incorporate handheld pictures so you can see that exact imperfection if it exists…It’s all about offering that level of honesty that we try to pride ourselves on, and I believe we offer an amazingly complete virtual shopping experience for our customers.” - Carvana [3]

Having trust is critical to selling cars online and photography plays a huge role in establishing that trust. The best way dealers can improve their photography is to hire professional photographers. Snappr is the fastest, most reliable, and most flexible photography solution on the market. With the largest network of professional photographers Snappr can get professional-quality photos anywhere, on-demand, and with as little as 2 hours advanced notice. And all Snappr shoots are professionally edited, ensuring stunningly beautiful pictures that are irresistible to buyers and will improve dealer’s photography at scale.

Check out these breathtaking examples of Snappr automotive photography.

Ready to take your photography to the next level and make a real impact on your bottom line? Contact Snappr’s Enterprise Team to learn how we can provide automotive photos that are second to none.

About the author

Darren Blench
Enterprise Partnerships

Darren Blench leads partnerships for enterprise Automotive clients at Snappr. He has helped dozens of major players in the industry with their content strategy. He is available for a no-obligation consultation about your Automotive photography needs.

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