Trader Interactive has announced the retirement of former CEO Lori Stacy and the promotion of David McMinn from chief operating officer (COO) to CEO. Stacy will remain closely involved in the business as the chair of the Trader Interactive Board.
Stacy oversaw the transformation of the business from newsprint magazines to digital marketplaces. The company launched digital marketplaces to better serve growing consumer demand for online classifieds.
These marketplaces and associated web services continued to grow under her leadership and the ownership of Virginia-based Dominion Enterprises. That growth attracted the attention of private equity companies Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Eurazeo, who in 2017 bought what would become Trader Interactive, making it a standalone company. Carsales.com LTD became Trader Interactive’s third investment partner in 2022 and purchased the remaining shares in early 2023, becoming Trader’s sole owner.
“Lori is a strong, capable leader who built a world-class business attracting happy customers, loyal and passionate employees and satisfied buyers and sellers. She crafted an impressive and enviable culture during her tenure here,” says Cameron McIntyre, CEO of CAR Group (formerly known as carsales.com LTD.) “We are extremely appreciative to Lori for her years of dedication, and we thank her for setting us up so successfully for the next phase of growth.
“We are indeed excited about the future under David’s leadership,” McIntyre continues. “David will continue Trader’s legacy of focusing on the customer, working as one team, driving innovation, acting with integrity and building value.”
McMinn transferred to the CEO role on December 14 after serving as an effective CFO and COO. Before joining Trader Interactive, he served as COO of Trader Corporation, playing a pivotal role in transitioning that company’s Autotrader business from a print business to the #1 digital automotive platform in Canada. His background includes senior leadership roles in sales and operations with the Trader Media Group in the UK, whose Autotrader.co.uk is the largest digital automotive marketplace in Europe. He also served as the CFO of Sensis Classifieds in Australia.
“Lori has done a phenomenal job with this organization over the last 25 years,” McMinn says. “She leaves an awesome legacy, which is a great bunch of people and a cool culture.”
McMinn will allocate resources and oversee the executive team. He shares that his role will also include supporting and facilitating the company’s strategy to continue to evolve its core marketplaces, which includes Cycle Trader, by listening to consumer feedback and continuing to evolve.
“That’s always at the forefront of our plan,” he says. “And to continue to provide dealers with good value as well as new tools to help them make more money… There are some other great streams of revenue and different customers that we’re looking to evolve as well.”
Supporting dealers as the buying process evolves
He shares that Trader Interactive strives to empower dealers during the purchasing process. He recognizes that most consumers start the buying process online and younger demographics prefer online shopping over an in-store experience.
The company offers tools and insights to help dealers, including insights from its TraderTraxx platform and market share data from its Statistical Surveys Inc. brand. The company also powers thousands of dealership websites through its Commercial Web Services.
“Consumers are changing. They expect quick feedback, they expect to do more things online and we’ve facilitated that on our site. Now we need to work with dealer partners to bring to life that consumer experience,” he says.
As online sales continue to grow, he emphasizes that dealers still play a crucial role in the buying process by engaging with customers, optimizing online listings and responding to the questions of potential buyers. He stresses that dealers must embrace the changing market dynamics by offering a more streamlined and efficient buying experience.
“It’s more important than ever that dealers embrace merchandising, getting the price right, making sure an ad has plenty of images, making sure the description is wholesome and answering as many questions as they can for the consumer, so they have no reason to go anywhere else,” he says.
“Dealers have a way to fire data from their DMS to our platform and it’s a way for them to embellish what is a basic VIN and a basic description and add value to an ad before they push it live onto the internet,” he continues. “There are pricing tools that help merchandising and a merchandising score.”
The TraderTraxx platform recently launched its ‘Buy Now’ product after working with 150 motorcycle dealers for the last eight months to gain feedback about the product. Consumers can purchase a motorcycle online, trade in their old one and get financed, and ultimately do everything from their living room. Data flows into the TraderTraxx system, making it accessible to dealers, and provides highly qualified leads.
“[Online shopping] is becoming more prevalent and we feel like we have a great tool for people to take advantage of. If a dealer wants to buy into that process and be engaged and respond to questions the consumer may have, they’re going to ultimately get more qualified leads and sell more units.”