Industry News & Trends

Internet is at the top of the list of information sources for our consumers.

A new study by Capgemini identifies changing buying habits driven by the Internet.

"the Internet is at the top of the list of information sources for consumers when researching car purchases;

80% of those surveyed now use the web, but the way it is being used is changing. New online tools such as search engines, automotive blogs and web forums have become key information sources for vehicle buyers who are turning to user-generated websites to obtain a more objective view."

  • 29% referred to consumer-to-consumer sites like blogs and forums when researching information
  • 78% of respondents rely on search engines.
A
Nice global message by Capgemini. It is interesting how both Brand and Dealer Loyalty are down this year. Not too surprising however. The growth of using the Internet as a primary source of information has taken really leveled the playing field in so many industries. It has 'kicked the door wide open'. While the auto industry has struggled with this and feared it I think it is a really good thing. It is causing dealer's to have to do business in a more honest and transparent way. Let's face it - auto dealers haven't had the shiniest reputation in the past 20 years. Perhaps the phenomenon of Web 2.0 as it pertains to the auto industry is the catalyst that was needed to help the industry re-invent themselves.
A
Nice global message by Capgemini. It is interesting how both Brand and Dealer Loyalty are down this year. Not too surprising however. The growth of using the Internet as a primary source of information has taken really leveled the playing field in so many industries. It has 'kicked the door wide open'. While the auto industry has struggled with this and feared it I think it is a really good thing. It is causing dealer's to have to do business in a more honest and transparent way. Let's face it - auto dealers haven't had the shiniest reputation in the past 20 years. Perhaps the phenomenon of Web 2.0 as it pertains to the auto industry is the catalyst that was needed to help the industry re-invent themselves.
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  • G
    Gerald
  • December 20, 2007
Way to Jeff- cutting edge my boy. I have long suspected BLOGs would provide a terrific alternative to the traditional forms of Internet info gathering. Is it too late to start a blog? Probably not as I am guessing most dealers are late adopters any way. The role of the ISM may change, but I don't think the position will go away as was discussed earlier this year. The savvy ISM will continue to find ways to engage the customer and gain a (short-term) upper hand.
B
<strong>Dealer and Brand Loyalty down this year -2007</strong>

New research compiled by Capgemini on our changing consumer auto trends and buying behaviour suggesting ways in which web sophistication is fueling that change.  Some of their findings include:

Dealer Loyalty and Branding have decreased in 2007
Incr...
A
Long-time lurker, first-time poster.
Enjoyed the video, but I have to disagree with one of the points. He indicated that U.S. automotive consumers are primarily looking for pricing information online.
Our data (J.D. Power and Associates) shows that while this is true for used-vehicle shoppers, more new-vehicle shoppers are actually influenced in their make/model decision (77%) than in the price they pay (73%). This was a major shift that we first noted in 2005 and that trend has continued. I actually just posted something to our blog.
J
  • J
    Jeff Kershner
  • December 21, 2007
Amit, I do thank you for finally posting and I appreciate you reading DealerRefresh but I have to wonder if you watched the video. There was nothing in the video at all about pricing.

When you say "Enjoyed the video, but I have to disagree with one of the points. He indicated that U.S. automotive consumers are primarily looking for pricing information online." I'm not sure where you heard this from on this video. I have listened to it several times and never heard the word PRICE come up one time.

If you are looking for traffic and wanted a link back to your posting, I would have been more then happy to add the JD Power blog into my blogroll. Let's work together, not piggyback.

I'm personally a little confused with the data to begin with. "more new-vehicle shoppers are actually influenced in their make/model decision (77%) than in the price they pay (73%)". What exactly does this mean? Is this implying that before consumers were searching by price then deciding what car they were going to buy based on the price of a vehicle AND NOW consumers are searching by make and model. I can't imagine consumers would NOT search and gather information on the vehicles they are interested in THEN research and compare the pricing. How could shopping price be the very first thing to do research on?

But then maybe I'm just confused from all the eggnog. :)

Jeff Kershner

A
Listened again and realize that I misheard his remarks around the 2:00 minute mark. He said "In other countries like China and the USA, it was still really very much around cost efficiency" but in relation to gas mileage.

I heard it in reference online behavior - totally my mistake (that's what I get for over-multitasking). It struck a chord because one of our findings has been the growing impact of online information on consumers' make/model decision. To explain the data: we ask recent new-vehicle buyers to what degree information found online impacted their make/model decision, price paid for the vehicle, dealer selection, etc. In 2007, 77% indicated some impact on make/model decision vs. 73% indicating some impact on price.

It may not seem like a big deal, but given where we started (online automotive research was primarily about price), it's a notable trend. No implications for the process consumers go through while researching/shopping online.

My apologies for violating etiquette - I was trying to reference more detailed info without dumping data into my original response. We market research folks do love data.
R
If 66% percent of auto shoppers are positively influenced by such things as "personalized offers" as this video suggests then I hope that dealers are making sure they are marketing to this audience as its core audience.

This comes by changing the way they present themselves in the marketplace...as an Automotive Retail Center versus your traditional car dealership. This requires engaging with customers months in advance to purchase and getting to know their true needs.

Social Media gives dealers this opportunity.

With more than 20% of new car buyers finding their way to an OEM site by way of Search 6 months prior to making a purchase, just think of how dealers can and should be tapping in to this market.

The tools are here today and the dealers and vendors that take the time to utilize them effectively by presenting their businesses more appropriately can and will capture these emerging virtual markets.
R