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Study: Car Buyers Choose Online Research Over Dealership Visits

July 31, 2017

RESEARCH TRIANGLE REGION, N.C. — Dealership digital marketing provider Netsertive announced the findings of its Automotive Shopper Path to Purchase survey, which gathered insights from more than 500 U.S. car buyers.

The survey found that most customers are conducting extensive research online before visiting a dealership, with 67% of respondents visiting only ​one to two dealerships before making a purchase. When customers began their online research, 45% knew which brand of car they wanted, but were unsure about which dealership they would purchase from. Another 34% of respondents were unsure about both brand and dealership, relying on digital channels to educate themselves. 

Survey respondents used a variety of channels to conduct online research. The most popular were consumer reviews, local dealer websites and search engines. Nearly 50% of shoppers used mobile devices to conduct their automotive research. In addition to researching new-car options, a recent Facebook survey found that auto shoppers are also using mobile devices to reach out to dealers and book test drives.

“The automotive industry is extremely competitive, especially now that buying decisions are increasingly made before customers visit a dealership,” said Brendan Morrissey, CEO and co-founder of Netsertive. “We understand the automotive landscape and the goals and challenges each dealership faces daily. At Netsertive, we use data-driven insights to help brands and dealerships execute co-op marketing campaigns to target car shoppers throughout their purchasing journey.”

To read the full text of the report, click here.

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