Technology has come a long way in helping businesses better understand their customers, offer higher quality services, and ultimately, drive more sales. The auto dealer industry is no exception. There are numerous online reports about consumer behavior that you, as an auto dealer, can use to get a competitive edge in the battlefield of online marketing. Here are three reports with some very useful findings.
#1 DEALERSHIP MARKETING: Building Revenue—The Essential Guide to Online Presence by Pepper Gang
Pepper Gang is a digital marketing agency from Boston. They conducted an extensive survey, discovering more about car shoppers and how they use the web as part of the shopping process.
The survey findings, based on participants’ answers of 10 questions, are summed up in a white paper, which will come in handy to any auto dealer looking to improve their performance online. Here are some of their most important findings:
- 83% of people begin their car research online
- 53% of respondents say they were influenced by the dealership’s social media profile
- 85% say a negative review they found online is likely to affect their buying decision
- 58% of people access car comparison websites and dealer websites from a mobile device
The lesson here is clear—if such a big percentage of shoppers start their car search online, you have a great chance of “catching” them at that initial step. Furthermore, more than half of them will look at your social media profile, so definitely direct some effort there. Finally, if you come across negative reviews of your dealership, try to resolve the conflict and, if possible, have the review removed. And last, but not least, if your website is not mobile optimized, it is high time you take measures to update.
#2 Digital Influence on Auto Intenders by the Interactive Advertising Bureau
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is a conglomerate of over “600 leading media and technology companies that are responsible for selling 86% of online advertising in the United States.”
Their report, called “Digital Influence on Auto Intenders,” reveals some interesting facts about car shoppers compared with the rest of the population. At the time of the survey, in January of 2014, there were 34 million people who intended to buy a vehicle within the next six months. Out of these, 21% were likely to be influenced by digital marketing related to cars, compared to just 12% of the general population (who were not intending to buy a car). Another standout finding is that intenders are 71% percent more likely to be influenced by online auto ads compared to the general population.
The survey makes it loud and clear—it’s time to ramp up your digital marketing efforts. Find a trustworthy agency or bring a team in-house…it will surely pay off.
#3 Digital Drives Auto Shopping by Google
The third report, called “Digital Drives Auto Shopping”, is authored by no other than the heavyweight champion of the internet—Google.
The title of the report pretty much speaks for itself. Digital, in the form of advertising, social media and mobile, is the main engine of car sales. More specifically, Google’s survey found that:
- A big chunk of auto intenders are open to influence. 72% of them said their search sessions involve cross-shopping. This means that it is worth putting in the effort to boost your online presence and “steal” some sales from the competition.
- Another reason to invest in your online presence: digital is more influential than ever before in the time leading up to the final purchase. Car shoppers are spending unprecedented amounts of time doing research prior to making a car buying decision, which give you ample opportunities to catch their attention.
- Video is also increasingly influencing car shoppers. As of September 2013, they were spending twice as much time watching videos than they were in 2012. Moreover, half of shoppers watch videos that are 30 minutes long or more. But perhaps most importantly—auto intenders are taking action right after watching a video. For 49% of them this action is visiting a dealer’s lot. So you simply can’t afford to miss out on video ads.
- 62% of people who already own vehicles place a high value on dealer interaction and their post-purchase experience. Therefore, closing a sale is important, but if you want loyal customers—make sure you establish a strong and trusting relationship after it.
Google’s report is full of other interesting findings, so if you want to build your online marketing strategy as effectively as possible, be sure to read the whole thing.
Reports like these come out all the time and if you want to stay on top of your game, you would do well to read them. Knowledge about consumer behavior is one of the surest ways to boost sales.
What methods of online advertising are you currently using? Are you using outside help or doing it in-house? Tell us your story in the comment section below.
Lachezar Stamatov is a recent Psychology graduate with interests spanning across various fields—health, cars, technology, you name it. He loves blogging about the surety bonds and automotive industries, so follow his articles for all the latest news and trends. He’s a regular contributor to the Lance Surety Bonds blog.