Satisfaction Surges if Dealers Use Mobile Devices to Enhance Sales Process

Chris Sutton

Chris Sutton

Satisfaction is highest among new-vehicle buyers who are presented with pricing/payment options on a computer screen or a tablet (833 on a 1,000-point scale) during the sales process, according to our 2013 U.S. Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study, which is based on responses from 29,040 new-vehicle buyers or lessees, who completed their transaction in April or May 2013.

Using technology continues to make a major difference in enhancing the buyer’s or lessee’s sales experience at the dealership. Specifically, when a dealership salesperson uses a tablet device during the sales process with new-vehicle buyers, satisfaction is 52 points higher on average (844) than when a salesperson does not use a tablet during the sales experience (792). Satisfaction with a salesperson using a computer printout (820) receives the next highest score, followed by verbal price quotes (792); and lastly, written figures (780).

Our 2013 U.S. SSI Study finds that tablets are proving to be particularly versatile and effective tools and may help maintain consistency during the sales process, while providing accessible and dynamic product information. Yet, we also see that tablet usage among dealership salespeople remains relatively limited—only 10% of dealership salespeople use these devices. On a positive note, that’s still up from 7% in 2012. 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 ›

J.D. Power Roundtable Provides Future Outlook and Views on Technology


Mike VanNieuwkuyk

Will the momentum of recovery in the auto industry continue to build was a theme of this year’s J.D. Power International Automotive Roundtable at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando,FL. More than 475 auto industry members attended today’s conference, which was held in association with the NADA Convention and Expo that continues through the weekend (Feb. 8 – 11).

In the afternoon session, James Dunn from the Florida-based retail group, JM Family Enterprises, Inc.; Vicki Poponifrom,  American Honda Motor Co., Inc.; and Barry Ratzlaff of Hyundai Motor America, joined a J.D. Power automotive expert in a discussion about changing technology in vehicles. The panel was led by moderator Ed Lapham, executive editor of Automotive News. J.D. Power’s Mike Van Nieuwkuyk, executive director of global vehicle research offered insight on changing technology requirements. Some questions and Van Nieuwkuyk’s observations and insight are summarized in the post below:

Technology in the Car and Consumer Expectations

Q: Evolving platforms—such as PDAs and Tablets, are providing new ways for consumer to communicate, share information and engage with product and service providers. How is the automotive industry keeping pace?

VanNieuwkuyk: Since consumers spend nearly 3 hours per day in their vehicle, they are seeking to make their time in the vehicle more useful and enjoyable. We see that new features that offer consumers greater connectivity, real-time information and flexibility to select who or what and how they want to be connected are being received with great consumer interest. Continue reading ›

Roundtable Panelists Share a Conversation about Multi-Screen Strategies

Media experts discused how strong content can be delivered in a platform-specific way during the Automotive Marketing Roundtable.

Creating strong content for multi-screens—TVs, smartphones and tablets, as well as PCs—demands a platform-specific strategy that allows the marketers and content providers to step aside and let the audiences engage, according to panelists at the . . . Continue Reading Roundtable Panelists Share a Conversation about Multi-Screen Strategies

Gathering Together to Talk about Present and Future Auto Shoppers

Arianne Walker

Consumers are relying more and more on digital devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to help them in their vehicle shopping process. Also, new-vehicle shoppers are going online nearly as soon as they decide to buy a vehicle, according to the latest research presented by J.D. Power experts on Wed., Oct. 24, at the 2012 Automotive Marketing Roundtable (AMR) in Las Vegas, NV. The three-day event (Oct. 23-25) at the Bellagio Hotel is being attended by a record 1,400 participants.

To attract shoppers, the auto industry—automakers, marketers, advertisers, website and search engine providers, and dealers—needs to have a much better understanding of the ways that shoppers—especially younger generation buyers—are using the Internet. During an opening Automotive Marketing Overview, J.D. Power’s Arianne Walker, senior director, Media and Marketing Solutions, spoke about trends from J.D. Power new-vehicle buyer and consumer behavior research. A few key points:

Digital Research has Biggest Impact on Millennials

• A majority of new-vehicle shoppers (80%) are Automotive Internet Users (AIUs), meaning that they go online as part of their shopping process

• Millennials, those born between 1977 and 1994, will be in the market buying vehicles in large numbers by 2020, based on their life stages.

• These Millennial shoppers are more than twice as likely as other generation shoppers to use social media and blogs for shopping.

• Digital research has a greater impact (46% of shoppers indicate it  has a large impact) on make/model purchased in comparison to the price paid (39%)

• For Millennials, digital information has an even greater impact across the board in determining their selection of make/model; viewing pricing; selecting a dealer and choosing a lender.

• These younger generation buyers use more kinds of content, particularly photo galleries, interactive 360 views, and payment estimators

• New-vehicle shoppers who read dealer reviews are 6 times more likely to click through to the dealership website (source: Continue reading ›

One in Five Digital Auto Shoppers Use a Smartphone or Tablet for Research

Arianne Walker

As the proliferation of mobile devices continues to rise in the United States and globally,* it’s no surprise that one in five new-vehicle buyers who use the Internet to shop for a new car or light truck use their tablets and smartphones to conduct research, according to our 2012 New Autoshopper Study, which is based on an online survey of nearly 12,300 purchasers and lessees of 2010 to 2012 model-year vehicles.

Overall, a majority (79%) of new-vehicle buyers use the Internet (termed Automotive Internet Users, or AIUs) to research their vehicle purchase. Nearly one-third (30%) of AIUs use several devices, including desktop PCs, smartphones and/or tablets. In fact, 20% of AIUs use a smartphone to gather information while shopping for a new vehicle, and 18% use a tablet. Continue reading ›

Learn How to “Personalize” Web Content at the Upcoming J.D. Power Auto Marketing Roundtable

Stephanie Haina

What are the newest and best ways to use available platforms—such as smartphones and tablets as well as PCs and TV—to attract and reach automotive shoppers? This could be a topic for a panel discussion by an internet search engine expert, OEM marketer and auto dealer official at the J.D. Power . . . Continue Reading Learn How to “Personalize” Web Content at the Upcoming J.D. Power Auto Marketing Roundtable

Gathering Together to Talk About How to Reach Automotive Shoppers

Arianne Walker

Taking advantage of advances in digital technology and the convergence of platforms beyond the PC—particularly mobile— to attract automotive shoppers in the market for a new vehicle, was one of the hot topics discussed during the recent 2011 Automotive Internet Roundtable in Las Vegas, NV. Members of the auto industry, marketers, advertisers, and Internet-savvy experts gathered to network and to learn more about the evolution of technology and social media as it influences and impacts the auto industry and consumers, both now and in the future.

J.D. Power Experts Provide Extra Insight

Steve Witten

During the opening Automotive Marketing Overview, we covered how new-vehicle buyers are different from the general population in terms of demographics, and more importantly in their behavior. We presented our latest data and information about Internet usage in the shopping process and pointed out the challenges in the online lead process, as well as listing details about mobile and tablet usage.

Following the overview, some questions were asked by members of the audience:

Q: Is there technology that can ID a mobile lead (vs. desktop lead)?


A: Perhaps the question should be: why would you ask shoppers to fill out an online lead form from a mobile device? Click-to-call would probably make more sense. We suggest skipping form completion in this scenario and getting the shopper in contact with the dealer directly. And, while you are at it, use a different phone number for your mobile site versus your traditional internet site—giving you a way to measure how many calls come in from different sources. Continue reading ›

Mobile Marketing: The Next-Generation Platform and Game Changer

The current state of mobile marketing was addressed in three separate panel discussions (Automotive Mobile Strategies, Game Mechanics, and User Behavior; Mobile Campaign Strategies; and Taking Mobile from Experiment to Experience) during the recent J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Automotive Internet Roundtable in Las Vegas, NV.

Amit Aggarwal

Participants on all three panels stressed the need to have a strategic focus and “smart fundamentals,” using mobile as a component within broader campaigns. In developing the strategy, marketers need to understand what kind of consumer they are trying to reach, what the consumer wants to do, and which tools marketers will need to put in front of consumers. Mobile currently has very high bounce rates because marketers are not creating enough compelling mobile destinations, most of the panelists acknowledged.

John Deschner, senior vice president of Deutsch, also recommended having an invention/experimentation budget (e.g. 5%) that can be used to test ideas. His suggestion: “Try to learn cheap and fast, but commit to it—you just need one of them to blow up.” Continue reading ›

Keeping Messages Simple, Creative and Consistent is Focus for Multi-Screen Marketing

Engaging consumers with consistent marketing messages across all four major platforms—TV, PCs, smartphones and tablets—and even a possible fifth screen in the future, such as an accessory on the body (a device embedded in consumers’ glasses)—was the key focus of one of yesterday’s panel discussions by six internet and media executives at the 2011 Automotive Internet Roundtable in Las Vegas, NV.

Panelists also defined six key factors that are impacting the evolution of these platforms right now, including: the recent passing of Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and visionary leader; whether “Kinect” from the Xbox will become the port; the role of Google in the market with the android phone and tablets; and the connected TV to surf the Web.

Panel moderator Gabe Greenberg, chief revenue officer, RGM Group, an interactive media firm based in Venice, CA, led the discussion about trends and statistics, leading-edge tools and best practices related to the topic of “Convergence of Marketing Across the Four Screens.” Panelists included: Todd Anderman, chief media and revenue officer, Jumptap; Russ Axelrod, director of branded experiences, Microsoft Advertising; Dan Hodges, chief revenue officer, Verve Wireless; Tod Sacerdoti, CEO/Founder of BrightRoll, Inc.; John Schultz, executive vice president, Specific Media. Continue reading ›