Digital Air Strike, a leading social media, intelligent lead response and consumer engagement technology company, recently revealed the findings of its 8th Annual Automotive Digital Retailing Consumer Trends Study at this year’s National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Show in Las Vegas.
The company’s COO, Erica Sietsma, presented the results during two sessions at NADA at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The study highlights new ways automotive consumers are utilizing Google and Facebook, including new trends relating to which review sites consumers use most and how they really feel about social media ads.
“As the car buying process becomes increasingly digital, consumers continue to do more research online before they even contact a dealership,” saidAlexi Venneri, co-founder and CEO of Digital Air Strike. “This makes the need for effective digital tools even more critical. Dealers need to have a strategy and the latest tools to help guide the process. Consumers want intelligent messaging, credit qualifying software and dealerships to have a strong presence on Facebook and Google. The easier it is for customers to find the information they need, the more likely they are to do business with a dealership and will ultimately spend more money if friction is reduced in the purchase process.”
The study surveyed 7,000 vehicle purchasers and servicers that had either purchased or serviced a vehicle with a franchised dealership in the prior six months. The consumers were not pre-qualified in any way other than having made a purchase. The study respondents were 59% male and 41% female, 39% of respondents had visited a dealership to purchase a new or used vehicle, while 61% had taken their vehicle to a dealership for service.
Top findings from Digital Air Strike’s 8th Annual Automotive Digital Retailing Consumer Trends Study include:
Social Media and Search
- 62% of sales customers (up from 47% in prior year) chose a dealership solely based on online search and reviews
- 54% of car buyers and 63% of service customers said social media and review sites were the most helpful in the dealership selection process, even more so than the dealership website
- 62% of sales customers and 51% of service customers ranked Google as the top site for reading reviews about dealerships
- More buyers and service customers are flocking to Facebook: 67% of sales customers and 62% of service customers use Facebook to read dealership reviews—up from 57% and 56% over the previous year’s study
- 67% of car buyers and service customers say social media ads are very helpful and 51% have purchased something directly through an ad on social media
Intelligent Messaging and Financing
- Consumers want automated tools that make it easy to contact a dealership, including intelligent messaging. 90% of customers said they would book an appointment using chat technology
- Speed matters—61% of car buyers said the dealership’s speed of response impacted their decision to choose one dealership over another
- 31% of customers want to take care of financing online and would use tools that allow them to do more of the full digital retail process themselves online
Digital Air Strike