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1 in 4 online automotive shoppers, who gather information online and login to their Facebook account at least monthly, have made a vehicle or service department purchase based on social recommendations, according to Sociable Labs in their March 2012 report. 62% of survey respondents said they had ever read a comment on their Facebook page from a friend talking about a vehicle or automotive service they purchased, while of those, three-quarters clicked on the product link in their friend’s comment. Once at the dealer’s site, 53% submitted an information request or scheduled a service visit based on what they learned about through their friend’s comment. Additionally, these eventual customers are happy to pass along the favor, as 81% self identify as sharers themselves.
Other research has also shown the influence of social networks on automotive shoppers: according to a study released in October 2011 by Performics and conducted by ROI Research, among participants who use social networks at least occasionally during the vehicle or service shopping process, recommendations from social networks (58%) are trusted by more than recommendations from shopping sites (57%) and deal sites (53%).
Meanwhile, among social sharers, who make up 38% of the Sociable Labs respondent sample, the primary motivation for commenting on vehicles or automotive services is to pass along deals they found with friends so that they can get the same deal, cited by 41%. Roughly one-quarter said they want to share the reasons why they chose the specific vehicle they purchased. However, the comments that make readers most interested in learning more are the ones detailing the reasons why the vehicle or service department was chosen (43%), ahead of ones containing information about discount offers (41%).
Significant opportunities exist for automotive retailers to drive higher engagement through social proofing, suggests the report. In fact, more than 3 in 5 respondents said that they are likely to stay and shop on a car dealer's website if they are shown their friends’ activities on the site. Additionally, 57% are more likely to make a vehicle information request or schedule a service appointment if they see a list showing their friends who have made a vehicle purchase inquiry or automotive service related purchase on the dealership's website.
About the Data: The Sociable Labs survey was conducted from January 15 to February 8, 2012, among 1,088 respondents matching the age distribution of the online shopper population.
Data Source: www.marketingcharts.com