Consumers Look Online For Auto Purchase

    June 20, 2007

In the final decision making process of buying an automobile, over half of consumers (53%) use the Internet as their main source for finding information about a vehicle they will purchase according to a DoubleClick Performics survey.

"Whether shoppers are gathering information three months in advance or narrowing their search three days before a purchase, the Internet is an ‘always on’ medium accessed by the majority of automotive consumers," said Nick Beil, vice president of sales and account management, DoubleClick Performics.

"More than ever, local dealers can benefit by using the Web not only as an educational tool, but to bring consumers into their virtual and brick and mortar showrooms."

When performing their automobile search, around half of consumers said they would visit a wide variety of Web sites such as consumer review sites, comparison sites, dealership sites, search engines and automobile company Web sites.

The most common search terms entered into a search engine query were brand name and model at 73 percent followed by automobile functions, such as speed or safety at 61 percent. Other popular search terms were state, city, zip code and dealership name.

"By implementing local search marketing strategies, there is opportunity for dealers to increase their contact with consumers," said Beil.

"While the automotive industry’s online advertising spend continues to rise, dealers utilizing search will improve their ability to impact consumers at every step in the purchase process."