Summary of AUTO@GOOGLE 2015 study

Among the various studies on the automotive market and its consumers, that of Google stands out because it is particularly focused on the behaviour of the automotive consumer.

Here are what we consider to be the main points from the study:

A customer buying journey of 72 days average:

Buying a car is a considered purchase which requires a period of maturity in the buyer’s mind. Even though in 2015, 54% of internet users make their decision in less than a month (51% in 2013), it remains a long buying process.

The dealer sales rep has to make an effort toward the lead, his role is to gradually bring him to a mature state; without being too intrusive and rushing him into a decision.

Internet and keywords search are of importance in customer behaviour:

79% of buyers do research online before buying whereas only 30% of buyers take test drives.

The video power:

The product demo video is more important than advertising: 82% of Internet users watched a video whilst carrying out research. In terms of how useful consumers find them, video come second after web searches and before dealership visits!

The Google study also deals with the online search methods used by automotive buyers:

  • In April 2015, 39% of automotive searches were made with a smartphone.
    With the school holidays, Google expects this number to increase.
  • On average, customers search for information on 12 websites: manufacturer websites, dealer websites, specialised magazines… Brand websites are the most visited (81%) especially in the new car customer journey.
  • 3 million leads result from these searches, including 2 per user (the first one at the beginning of the customer journey and the second at the end).
  • So, the future customer generates two leads on the Internet and visits the dealership twice: the web and the point of sale are at the same level in the customer journey, for now!
  • Nevertheless, dealership visits decrease generally because users select the places where they want to go very precisely.

Thanks to this study carried out in collaboration with TNS, automotive dealers now have a better idea of how to adapt their marketing strategy!

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