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For over a hundred years, every year we see new car models that change and improve from the previous year... So has car buying!
Since Henry Ford sent his the first Model T to market, the steps to buying a car have not changed all that much. Today, car buying is just like it was during the heyday of Packard’s “Ask the Man Who Owns One.”. That's right, people have been expressing their opinions about vehicles and car dealerships in a manner destined to change other car buyer's purchase decisions.
What is different is that today a car buyer’s shopping and purchase research experience is able to access a much wider array of resources...
Some, are more reliable resources than others; trusted coworkers, friends, family, and online reviews from independent sources. Each of these information sources seeking to influence their purchase decision. The auto buying infographic shown below is from the "Addthis" people and portrays what car buyers are thinking, and seeking out during the shopping and post-purchase phases of the vehicle buying cycle.
Car buyers, on average, go through more research and prep than buyers of other consumer products before closing the sale at a car dealership.
They've always asked friends and family for all sorts of advice, but today they browse and post on their social networks for information. They go to Google and search the web for reviews from other car buyers to help them make a decision they’ll be happy with. Do they pay attention to information from car dealers and car companies? Sure they do... But what they see from other consumers, and hear from friends and family weigh a lot more on their purchase decisions.
All their hard work has the potential of creating a better informed and satisfied car buyer.
If they get the right experience at the dealership, these car buyers are willing and eager to become loyal brand advocates following their purchase. This has the potential of being a big plus for car dealerships and car companies that do the right things.