Car buyers increased online research means less dealership visits

CARY, N.C. - 

Consumers' grasp of more online vehicle research channels than ever means fewer dealership visits because car shoppers depend on digital resources to educate themselves, according to Netsertive’s latest survey on U.S. car shoppers’ buying patterns.

The digital marketing technology company’s Automotive Shopper Path to Purchase Survey found that 67 percent of respondents only visit up to one to two dealerships before making a purchase.

While 45 percent of consumers know which brand of car they want when they begin their research, 34 percent say they don’t know which dealership they want to buy from and look to online resources for guidance.

The most popular channels for research are consumer reviews, local dealer websites and search engines, according to the survey.

Additionally, the study also found that almost 50 percent of car shoppers use mobile devices to conduct their research before buying.

This highlights dealer’s need for mobile-optimized websites in order to remain competitive and attract these customers, Netsertive said.

“The automotive industry is extremely competitive, especially now that buying decisions are increasingly made before customers visit a dealership,” Netsertive chief executive officer and co-founder Brendan Morrissey explained in a news release.

Netsertive’s study examined more than 500 U.S. consumers using Google Consumer Surveys.

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