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Study: 75% Of Car Shoppers Get Info On Web

A new survey has found that more car shoppers are using the Internet to research their cars before going shopping.

According to the J.D. Power and Associates 2008 New Autoshopper.com study, 75 percent of new-vehicle buyers in 2008 are using the Internet during their shopping process, up from 70 percent last year. The jump marks the largest year-over-year increase in online shopping since 2001.

"The current economic environment, coupled with high fuel prices, has given rise to a shift in the vehicle buying habits of U.S. consumers," said Arianne Walker, director of marketing/media research at J.D. Power and Associates. "Shoppers who were once loyal to larger vehicle models are now finding themselves in the market for a compact or midsize car. For many, this is unknown territory, and these shoppers are turning to the Internet for information and education about the vehicles in their new consideration set. The resulting demand for information provides automotive marketers with valuable opportunities to reach out to shoppers via the Internet."


The amount of time shoppers spend online researching automotive information has also increased since 2007 -- up 12 percent to more than six and a half hours.

The number of Web sites being visited by new-vehicle shoppers has remained relatively flat since 2007, which suggests that consumers have become more engaged with the sites they currently visit.

"The collaborative environment facilitated by Web 2.0 is changing the way shoppers research vehicles, driving many to seek the experiences and opinions of other shoppers and owners," said Walker. "The opinions of other consumers are so impactful that we are already seeing distinct purchasing patterns develop between those shoppers who use consumer ratings and reviews, and those who rely solely on expert ratings and reviews."

The 2008 New Autoshopper.com Study is based on the self-reported shopping habits of 27,901 new-vehicle buyers. The study was fielded from May to July 2008.

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Tags: Internet, car, dealers, departments, internet, l, online, sales, shoppers

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Comment by DJ Atul Sardana on October 19, 2008 at 4:09pm
No Problem! Even my older clients that are more old fashion do some sort of research and come to see me with folders and spreadsheets marking whats important to them in each vehicle they look at.
Comment by Jennifer Schrader on October 19, 2008 at 8:05am
You are absolutely right there! Thanks for nailing it on the head. No matter what any GM/ SM or Salesman will say the online consumer has or have done their research online before stepping in the door!
Thanks for the comment!
Comment by DJ Atul Sardana on October 18, 2008 at 9:24pm
I am at a BMW dealership and I think about 99% of the customers whether they come in as internet leads or just walk in the door; they have reviewed some sort of information on the net prior to visiting or emailing the store.
Comment by Jennifer Schrader on October 18, 2008 at 7:41pm
Absolutely in agreement with you! I have sold Hondas in the past at the auto group and they all are very active on the internet.

At this point in time is getting the ol school dealerships on board to understand the importance instead of dropping so much $$$$$$ on old marketing efforts.
Comment by Gerald Hand on October 18, 2008 at 6:24pm
Great post, Jen. No surprise research time is on the rise with all the choices that are out there and the increasingly popular videos. I would contend 75% is probably light, especially if you consider upwards of 95% of import (Honda/Toyota buyers) are shopping online. The takeaway is still the same- Internet is here to stay, so we adopt or go the way of the dinosaurs.

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