The research conducted by Google and Kantar TNS, had over 4,000 participants across the country. All participants were interviewed over the telephone or via face to face interviews for an average of 25 minutes to reveal these results.
While in 2016, 74 percent car buyers searched online for their purchase of new car, this percentage went up in 2018, to 90%. The study asked consumers about the process they followed in buying a car. Right from car research to actual purchase journey. It was revealed that most participants decided which car they will buy without stepping into a dealership, or even actually seeing the car in person. Helping them decide on their new car, was internet. Yes. Thanks to car videos and websites. These mediums played a major role in influencing the car buyer into making a final decision.
60 percent of buyers searched for dealerships online. 80 percent used online videos to steer them in the right direction of which car to purchase. The study also found out that 41 percent of buyers searched for maintenance programs. 37 percent buyers were more interested in promotional offers.
Out of these searches, 20 percent buyers decided on their final purchase within two weeks of research. 68 percent of car buyers started their search without any idea of what car they wanted to purchase in the first place.
There are a number of advantages for this sort of online searches in terms of car purchases. For starters, the research done online is dependable. Videos and websites also play an important role with details of the car being shown. This type of search has doubled over the years from 43 percent in 2016 to around 80 percent in 2018. The study also revealed that out of all car buyers who watched online videos, 79 percent went in for test drives, downloaded the brochure or visited the showroom.
Besides buyers going digital, dealers are also taking this route. They are increasing their online presence, especially on social media. They are refularly updating their website with information on prices, maintenance programs, locations and reviews; so influence buyer even before they step into the dealership. The dealers find this medium easier and more effective to reach out to potential car buyers with increasingly better results.
Online has also resulted in less number of buyers visiting the dealership to check the car or test drive. 69% of the buyers already knew which car they were buying, even before entering showroom. They bought car after just 1 test drive, and never tested any other car during the purchase process.