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 ›