Powering Used Car Industry With Data

Southeast Asia’s largest integrated e-commerce car platform, Carsome has set up a data centre of excellence (COE) to revolutionise the used car industry through digitalisation and to empower decision-making in business.

The use of data allows Carsome to power its business at all stages while supporting strategic decisions.

The combination of auction, market data, and machine learning (ML) model backs Carsome’s proprietary vehicle pricing optimisation and inventory support system and also helps the company in understanding different user personas and their journey as a customer, and allows for analytics-backed inventory acquisition and liquidation strategy.

Carsome Co-founder and Group CEO Eric Cheng (pictured above) explained that the company has amassed a wealth of data after six years in business.

“By setting up our data COE, we are on full throttle in implementing data science solutions, along with data-driven insights to increase operational efficiency.

“Our in-house data capabilities and machine learning automations increase work efficiency and enhance timely, evidence-based decision-making abilities, which in turn helps our customers get good quality services from Carsome,” Cheng said in a statement.

Internally, data digitalizes workflows and processes by improving internal products with artificial intelligence (AI) and ML capabilities.

Application of AI and ML include automating various operations tasks, such as car number plate masking and car scoring engine; these reduce the time an inspector takes to inspect a car and therefore promote better efficiency internally while providing faster car-selling process for consumers.

To further establish the importance of a data-driven business, Carsome has appointed former Head of Data at iflix and subsequently WeTV iflix Piyush Palkar as its Chief Data Officer (CDO).

Palkar, a construction engineer by qualification but ventured into data since varsity days, brings along vast experience in data and analytics across banking, energy, media and entertainment, and retail.

Piyush Palkar. Supplied.

Reporting directly to the Group CEO, Palkar will lead data maturity, data engineering and management, ML and AI-based data-driven innovations, business intelligence, insights and data analytics in Carsome.

Data brings value to various Carsome stakeholders and for used car dealers, the most apparent is ML-powered auction optimisation, which provides personalised recommendations when bidding for cars.

Dealers on Carsome’s platform will find the most relevant cars curated and ready to bid on for them before they even start browsing. This allows them to make more bids that increase the likelihood of winning.

For consumers, they benefit greatly from Carsome’s pricing engine, from which car sellers can gain data-backed proposed reserve pricing when selling their cars through Carsome as data helps them get the best selling price based on market movements and subsequently increasing the chances of their cars being sold via bidding.

Carsome is on track to hit an annualised USD$1 billion in revenue by the end of the second quarter (Q2 2021), beating forecasts.

The company is also expected to complete a number of major merger and acquisition transactions that will further cement its market leadership position in the next six months.

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