Cars.com Innovator: Cash Isn’t Dead, Just on Life Support
Name: Sharon Knitter
Title: Senior Director of Mobile
What I’m working on now… Developing our mobile strategy – both local and national
What problem I am solving by doing it… Extending the Cars.com business from one platform to a multi-platform business. I want to make Cars.com available wherever and whenever people want to use our site.
My crowning achievement is… Positioning Cars.com as a leader in mobile products. We were the first third-party automotive site to have an optimized mobile site and a research-dedicated iPhone app. We are dedicating an entire team to staying ahead of the mobile curve.
When I go shopping, my preferred method of payment is… Credit card
The key to building a mobile presence is… Developing products that fit the needs of the customer. Our mobile products provide consumers with valuable information that’s convenient and easy for them to find.
Cash is… Not dead – just on life support
Merchant loyalty programs are… An interesting way to build repeat business
eCommerce will… Live peacefully with offline commerce
Mobile commerce will… Be accepted quickly by some and more slowly by others. Either way, businesses need to be prepared for a shift.
Social commerce is… Hard to define and may not really be commerce at all but rather the way in which consumers research their purchases
Many new ventures in retail don’t cut it because… They lose focus on the customer’s primary needs.
The most important thing to consumers is… Transparency and honesty
Bio: Sharon Knitter joined the Cars.com team in 2006 and is now the site’s Senior Director of Mobile Strategy. In this role, Knitter works to enhance Cars.com’s mobile site and mobile apps to better serve car shoppers on the go. She also assists with the development of advertising products for manufacturers and dealers to help them reach this growing segment. Knitter will continue to monitor the growing mobile space to help Cars.com identify opportunities for growth on multi-media platforms and lead the third-party mobile automotive space.
Before her role as Senior Director of Mobile Strategy, Knitter served as the Senior Director of Consumer Products at Cars.com. In this position, she implemented the strategic management and development of the site’s consumer automotive buying and selling channels on the web. She also led the site’s mobile initiative and successfully made Cars.com the first third-party automotive site with an optimized mobile presence. Prior to Cars.com, Knitter worked at the Tribune Co., where she began in 1987 as a research manager and later worked as both the manager of advertising development and director of recruitment strategy.
Knitter is the co-chair of the IAB mobile committee and previously served as the president of the Newspaper Association of America’s Research Federation. Additionally, she was elected the Oak Brook Park District Commissioner. Knitter lives in Oakbrook with her husband Richard.