Online Car Buying Trends

October 17, 2019

The days of visiting a car dealership, walking the lot, and speaking with a sales team are fading. The future of car shopping is moving online, and your business must stay ahead of that curve.

Car buyers can do most everything on their phones these days, and car buying is no different. Researching vehicles, checking reviews, and comparing prices online is easier than ever, which has car buyers spending 60% of their shopping time online, according to an Admall Local Account Intel Report.

Online research

33% of shoppers would like to do away with the visit to the dealership altogether, according to Dealer Socket's Dealership Action Report, and it shows. Research sites have taken hold in the car buying experience, and have been forever intertwined with the process. With up-to-date listings, important vehicle information, and live chat options to answer questions, you can have people browsing your competitor's lot without leaving their home.

These sites also come complete with price and feature comparisons, so people can do their best at apple-to-apple looks at what amounts to a significant investment for them. Having all of this research readily available makes buyers more informed and less reliant on the physical experience they get from visiting a dealership and speaking with a salesperson. And a more informed consumer is a more discerning consumer.

Car buyers are looking to buck old clich├ęs, trading the sales spiel and negotiation for transparency and ease in car shopping. You have to win over your consumers another way, by instilling confidence through your web presence instead of an in-person pitch. A great way to do this is to bolster your online cache by not just pitching, but informing.

Driving information

Buyers these days are drinking in every ounce of information they can before they get close to the buying stage. Even test drives have gone digital. Test drive videos on YouTube have grown more than 65%, according to Google. This means buyers are so comfortable doing their research and shopping online that they'll rely on watching others test drive a car instead of making it to the lot themselves. People can now put themselves in any car on the market using the internet, and from there, decide what best fits their needs.

You could monopolize on this upswing in many ways. Studying content producers that perform well in your market can inspire how you adjust your online marketing. Use advantages you might have over average content creators like access to a broader range of vehicles, high production quality, and behind-the-scenes reach.

To get more exposure without making viral hits, aiming your ads at the right crowd can still give you a boost too. You'll be showing your work to the same audience you're trying to attract, without having to bring them to your videos. And it still works for your business, as auto shoppers are 61% more likely than the industry average to take purchasing action after seeing a video ad before their intended content, according to SpyFu.

Prepare for the future

Make sure you're ready for the next generation of car buyers. Dealerships still matter, but online is poised to take the lion's share of import, and you need to be at the top of their searches. Auto shoppers are 13% less likely to go past the first page of online search results, according to Polk Research. Make sure you have a grasp on your audience, what they're looking for, and how to reach them.

At excelerate, we're more than just another digital marketing agency. We're data miners, storytellers, designers, and developers who are here to make an impact. We specialize in the search engine optimization, video production, and advertising programming you need to get ahead, and we analyze the data to make sure you stay there. Contact us today to let us guide you on your digital journey.