Stats on How People Shop For Cars

Posted at Jan 18, 2018 10:00:00 AM by THAT Agency | Share

The most important statistic you’ll read today: 99.58% of buyers dislike the traditional car-buying process. “Dislike” may be too mild a word! But far from discouraging, use this fact as a springboard for action. When you understand how people shop, you can leverage this insight to sell more cars.

Stats on How People Shop for Cars | THAT Agency


Knowledge is Power

At the beginning stages of the buying journey:


59%: Time of the journey spent on online researching.

46%: Car shoppers who use multiple devices when conducting research.

60%: This is the percentage of people who are considering multiple vehicle options. Most car buyers are undecided when they start their journey.

22%: Car buyers who use social media while shopping for their new ride (a 6% increase from 2015).

Top 5 Online Activities:

And here’s a look at what they’re doing when they’re researching:

  • Looking into car prices (71%).
  • Finding cars for sale (68%).
  • Comparing models (64%).
  • Researching trade-in values (63%).
  • Locating dealers (46%).


What to do with these stats

Provide information. Real, relevant information on your website, blog, and social media (especially YouTube). Forget the hard sell. You can “soft” sell by establishing your expertise in this space. If they’re looking at prices, be transparent. If they’re looking for inventory, show them what you have. If they’re comparing models, provide a spec-by-spec breakdown.


The Face-to-Face

We’re going to lead with the bad news for dramatic purposes:

87%: People who dislike at least once aspect of car shopping at dealerships.

61%: Individuals who feel they have been or will be taken advantage of while at a dealership.

52%: Car shoppers who feel “anxious” or “uncomfortable” at dealerships.

56%: Millennials who would rather clean their house than negotiate with a salesperson.

24%: Gen-Xers who would rather have a root canal than negotiate with a salesperson. Ouch.

Ouch indeed. But here’s the great news - and opportunity:

84%: Car buyers who want to purchase in-person.

That’s right. Despite trepidations, worries, and fears, most buyers still want to go to the dealership to buy their vehicle.

What to do with these stats

Revamp your customer experience. Focus on comfort and convenience. High-pressure tactics do not work. By the time a customer has come into your dealership, assume they’ve done hours of research. They want a great test drive, no-nonsense discussions about the model in which they’re interested, and a streamlined, seamless experience.

How do you give it to them? Put every function you can online - from specs to financing. Make the digital experience as pleasant, and as convenient, as possible. And then follow up with a great in-person visit. This is essential because car buyers, on a 10 scale, typically rate the test drive as an 8-10.

But when you factor in time spent in the purchase process, negotiating, and paperwork, satisfaction rates drop to 51%. Boost those numbers back up by eliminating or at least curtailing the “boring” stuff.

One more stat to close with: according to Autotrader, over half (54%) of people would purchase a vehicle from a dealer that offered their preferred experience - even if the price wasn’t the lowest. Experience is your biggest competitive advantage. An experienced digital marketing agency can help you leverage it for maximum impact.


Tags: Automotive Marketing

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