J.D. Power Expert Discusses Digital Trends in Shopping for a New Vehicle

Arianne Walker

Arianne Walker

Arianne Walker, senior director of media and marketing solutions at J.D. Power, provided insights from J.D. Power’s latest research on the automotive shopping process during an opening review of “How Digital Living Impacts the Automotive Industry,” at the October J.D. Power Automotive Marketing Roundtable in Las Vegas, NV.

A prior post,  J.D. Power’s Roundtable Speaker Defines “Connected Auto Consumers” summarized Walker’s discussion of shopping trends by generation, statistics about visits to websites, in addition to explaining how AIUs (Automotive Internet Users) access information digitally. Today’s post includes more of Walker’s insight about automotive buyer online research behavior and the roles that social media and video play in the shopping experience. Continue reading ›

Over Half of Gen Y Shoppers Who Use the Web are Open to Any Vehicle Brand

Arianne_Walker New

Arianne Walker

One-half of all new-vehicle buyers who use the Internet in their shopping process (AIUs) are open to considering any vehicle brand at the beginning of their research experience. In addition, that percentage is even higher (54%) among Gen Y AIUs, according to our 2013 New Autoshopper Study.*

We see that close to one-half (47%) of Gen Y AIUs use smartphones in their shopping process—the most of any age demographic, which indicates how important it is for brands and websites to put these younger buyers into their marketing equations. The share of new-vehicle buyers in Gen Y is increasing at the greatest rate among all buyers and is projected to comprise 23% of all 2013 retail sales.

Automakers have a terrific opportunity to influence younger buyers during their shopping process, which averages about four months, particularly since they are quite open to considering different brands as they begin their new-vehicle research. In addition, the digital presence of the brand through mobile advertising and by providing content across mobile-accessible sites may be a great way to reach Gen Y buyers, since we see almost half that use a smartphone during the shopping process. Continue reading ›

Auto Shoppers Begin Their Digital Research Early; Most Visit Manufacturer Websites

Arianne Walker

New-vehicle buyers go online nearly as soon as they decide to buy a new vehicle, according to results in our 2012 New Autoshopper Study. We also find that a high percentage of buyers—59% of Automotive Internet Users (AIUs)—say that they narrow their consideration list to one model during the final week before their actual purchase, which makes the digital experience and dealer interaction more important than ever.

As expected, nearly all (98%) of AIUs visit manufacturer websites during their shopping process. A majority also visit third-party websites (81%) and then dealer websites (73%). Interestingly, a much smaller percentage say they visit social media sites for automotive research (5%).

Our research indicates that AIUs rely heavily on manufacturer websites for researching specific models and to utilize build tools, while they more frequently rely on third-party sites for comparing vehicles; reading vehicle ratings and reviews; and learning about vehicle trade-in values. AIUs visit dealer sites primarily to research inventory and dealer-specific information, such as to get directions/location, hours, and contact information. Continue reading ›

Smartphones are Integrated More into Automotive Shoppers’ Lives

Arianne Walker

Smartphones are not quite ubiquitous, but according to recent reports from data gatherers such as Nielsen, smartphones are now owned by slightly more than half (50.4%) of U.S. mobile phone users. In addition, the number of apps that are downloaded per device continues to increase—in the past year, apps on each device have increased from 32 to 41 on average, according to recent data reports.

Our own research about online behavior in the automotive arena illustrates how much more in-market automotive shoppers are using their smartphones to access automotive content even when they are at home—not just when they are out and about. For instance, in the past 2 years, we have seen a 41% increase among in-market automotive shoppers using their smart mobile devices to visit mobile sites for automotive content.

In 2010, just 17% of these shoppers used their smartphones to access automotive content and in 2011, we saw that percentage of shoppers with smartphones jump to nearly one-fourth (24%), based on analysis in our 2010-2011 U.S. Automotive Mobile Site Study. This is the fastest increase in content consumption type among those that we have measured. Continue reading ›

J.D. Power’s Humphrey Offers Brighter Outlook for Global Auto Market


Leslie Cocco

The global automotive industry, including North America, is better able to keep production in line with demand than in the past, according to John Humphrey, senior vice president and general manager of J.D. Power’s global auto operations. John told participants at our 2012 International Automotive Roundtable today that J.D. Power is largely bullish about the auto market in the near future, projecting global sales of 79.2 million light vehicles in 2012, and rising to 99 million unit sales in 2015.

Humphrey stated that more than half (55%) of global auto sales in 2015 are projected to be in emerging markets, and he pointed out that drivers of this growth include the return of sub-prime-credit customers to the market, decreasing credit restrictions, and increasing demand.

John Humphrey

Humphrey also said there are risks to this growth: geopolitical tensions in the Mideast Gulf region; the negative impact of the Euro debt crisis; unemployment; the economic slowdown in China; and the lack of infrastructure in emerging markets.

Humphrey also discussed the inevitable change in the market in relation to Gen Y consumers. Changes that he mentioned are technology-driven, and relate to the way that young shoppers expect to do their shopping—online, via mobile, and Apps—and the expectations they have for technology in vehicles. A majority, or 79%, of shoppers are going to third-party sites, rather than OEM or dealer sites, which makes brand management and messaging a challenge, he said. Continue reading ›