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Does the findings of this latest JD Power Automotive Internet Shopper study surprise you?

During the Initial Shopping Process, JD Power says that More Than One-Half of Gen Y Internet Shoppers Are Open to Considering "Any" Vehicle Brand. This is why it is so important to be dialed in with your online Marketing efforts!

J.D. Power Reports:
During the Initial Shopping Process, More Than One-Half of Gen Y Internet Shoppers Are Open to Considering Any Vehicle Brand

Among Automotive Internet Shoppers, Tablet Usage Surpasses Smartphone Usage for the First Time

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.  Among new-vehicle buyers who use the Internet in the automotive shopping process, one-half are open to any brand when they initially begin to shop, and more than one-half of Gen Y buyers are open to consider any brand that meets their needs, according to the J.D. Power 2013 New Autoshopper StudySM released today.

The study analyzes how new-vehicle buyers use digital devices (computers, smartphones and tablets) to gather information prior to purchase, as well as which websites and apps are used. Overall, 79 percent of new-vehicle buyers use the Internet to research their new vehicle purchase during the shopping process.

Among all AIUs, 50 percent are open to any brand at the outset of their shopping process, which increases to 54 percent among Gen Y. Nearly one-half (47%) of Gen Y AIUs use smartphones in their shopping process, which is more than any other demographic.

“It is important for brands and websites to pay special attention to Gen Y buyers, as they are increasing in market share at the greatest rate among all new-vehicle buyers and now comprise more than 20 percent of all retail sales. Automotive manufacturers have a great opportunity to influence these buyers during their shopping process, particularly since so many of them begin the process fairly open minded,” said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power. “Additionally, the digital presence of the brand through mobile advertising and content across mobile-accessible sites and apps may be a great way to reach Gen Y buyers, since we see almost half use a smartphone during the shopping process.”

Although AIUs continue to use a desktop/laptop computer most often to gather information while shopping, tablet and smartphone usage has dramatically increased year over year (39% and 15%, respectively). For the first time, the percentage of AIUs using tablets has surpassed those using smartphones (25% and 23%, respectively). More than one-third (34%) of AIUs perform research using multiple devices, including desktop/laptops, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles.

The study finds that almost all AIUs (98%) visit manufacturer sites during their shopping process, followed by dealer sites (83%); third-party sites (80%); and social media sites (7%). AIUs more frequently indicate that third-party (54%) and manufacturer (52%) websites are very helpful during the new-vehicle shopping process, compared with dealer and social media sites/apps.

“As automotive Internet users continue to rely heavily on automotive manufacturer and third-party websites, an opportunity is created for sites to differentiate themselves further by providing engaging content and useful shopping tools that target consumers at each stage of the shopping process, said Walker.

The study finds that Consumer Reports, and Kelley Blue Book ( are among the most frequently visited third-party websites, with AIUs visiting these sites more often than the other 33 third- party websites measured in the study. Additionally, AIUs indicate that the model pricing information, vehicle ratings and reviews and vehicle comparison information are among the most useful third-party website content when making a purchase decision.

J.D. Power research finds the following Internet shopping behaviors among AIUs:

  • On average, the entire vehicle-shopping process takes approximately four months for AIUs.

  • On average, AIUs access 10 automotive websites before purchasing a vehicle (including third-party, dealer and manufacturer sites).

  • 90 percent or more of AIUs use model information and vehicle pricing. However, only 19 percent of AIUs access dealer ratings/reviews prior to purchase.

  • The 2013 New Autoshopper Study is based on responses from 17,012 purchasers and lessees of 2011 to 2013 model-year new vehicles who used information gathered digitally during the shopping process.

About J.D. Power

J.D. Power is a global marketing information services company providing performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company’s quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power has offices in North/South America, Europe and Asia Pacific. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power is a business unit of McGraw Hill Financial.

J.D. Power Media Relations Contacts

John Tews; Troy, Mich.; 248-680-6218;
Syvetril Perryman, Westlake, Calif.; 805-418-8103;

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power.

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About McGraw Hill Financial

McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI) is a leading financial intelligence company providing the global capital and commodity markets with independent benchmarks, credit ratings, portfolio and enterprise risk solutions, and analytics. The Company's iconic brands include:

Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, CRISIL, J.D. Power, Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, McGraw Hill Construction.


The Company has approximately 17,000 employees in 27 countries. Additional information is available at

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Source: Sept%202013%20Auto%20Shopper%20Study%20JD%20Pwr.pdf

Views: 299

Tags: J D Power, J.D. Power, automotive consumer, car buying, shopping process


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Comment by Tom Gorham on September 15, 2013 at 5:45pm

Not really surprising.  But I wonder about one paragraph... "90 percent or more of AIUs use model information and vehicle pricing. However, only 19 percent of AIUs access dealer ratings/reviews prior to purchase."  I'll take that 19% and get the rest by default!!!

Comment by Ralph Paglia on September 15, 2013 at 2:15pm

Over the last couple of decades that I have been studying car buyer behaviors, process and activities, the J.D. Power Auto Shopper Studies have been among the most useful and accurate predictors that dealers can use to optimize their marketing and customer experience objectives towards maximizing sales and profits. 

Comment by Kamal Tahir on September 13, 2013 at 1:20pm

Its not surprising at all. The behavioral/attitudinal shifts have been seen in all segments and as more of the younger Gen Y/Millennials are driving age and/or making their own vehicle purchase decisions we will see the impact only increase. The reason I say younger Gen Y, because I believe there are rather stark differences between the early Gen Y and the later Gen Y.

On a marketing front we have really focused on Message/Medium/Moment. The question remains whether the make/models (to add more Ms to the mix) are appropriately targeting this group. This is not to say that brand loyalty or brand ambassadors are not possible. The formula from industries and entities where this group has shown a brand preference has to be factored. Not just the good stories of embracing apple or facebook, but how quickly myspace was forgotten or products that did not meet the changing needs.

It is the first group where mass marketing is really losing its effect and more personalized engagement is critical. Mass advertising did not fare too well for brands examples being Nokia Lumia and Microsoft Windows 8.

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