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New SA app is the Tinder for car buying

Carter, a South African developed smartphone app aims to help users find the perfect new car for their needs, and connect them to accredited dealers to get a great deal. According to the company, the new platform removes the hassle of having to contact multiple dealerships for quotes and navigating a myriad of technical specifications to see which car suits the buyer's needs and wallet best.

Swipe gestures

A shortlist of suitable cars can be built by swiping right (i.e. yes, I like it) or swiping left (i.e. not interested) – similar to the well-known Tinder app. The system learns from the user’s actions which then gets them closer to the cars they should be considering.

“We are looking to create something special with Carter,” says co-founder Vikash Govindjee. “What we’re doing hasn’t been done anywhere else in the world. Our platform helps customers find their perfect new car and complete the deal via their mobile phone. It’s a new-car shopping mall in the palm of your hand.”

An Edgars for cars

Tom Gardner, co-founder, adds that their platform is vastly different to existing options: “There isn’t an Edgars for new cars. There isn’t anywhere you can browse hatchbacks or compact SUVs side by side. The problem with this is that there may be the perfect compact SUV out there for you, you just don’t know about it. By creating a virtual showroom that allows people to browse by usage requirements, we have created a virtual Edgars for cars.”

According to Carter’s Amit Bholla, very few platforms have pulled off the fun element for consumers. “The majority of other platforms ask you which make and model car you want. They assume you know what you want or need. Carter’s mission is to empower the consumer. We have built a fun and friendly platform to help you find the right car and then conveniently source great deals from reputable dealers.”

“Take the swipe left or right functionality. By backing it with a smart learning algorithm, we can learn what consumers like or dislike,” notes Bholla.

Carter's co-founders Tom Gardner, Amit Bholla and Vikash Govindjee.

Design collaboration

When quizzed on their UI choices, the response was a simple one: customer feedback. According to the founders, user testing and actual customer interactions have been pivotal in shaping an intuitive user interface and experience.

“The big ‘ah-ha’ moments came from asking users how they would design something. Once they understood what we were trying to achieve with a particular step, we would ask them to design the perfect interface for them. We received some silly ideas, but we gained valuable ideas too,” concludes Gardner.

Carter’s app is currently available on the Apple iStore as well as the Android Play Store.

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