Digital Drives Inspiration and Research

Car shoppers are doing their research online, 95% of car shoppers use digital channels for research and inspiration, with both mobile and video increasing year over year! So, how does digital drive car shopping decisions?  As a result, 80%+ of car shoppers are in-market 3 months or less. The car shopping process usually kicks off online with mobile and video ad formats prompting potential car shoppers to begin their research. Mobile ads have calls to action to visit the dealer, dealers website or contact the advertiser.

Online Discovery

No matter the source, digital plays a a huge role in the car buying experience today – from dealer visits, test drives, and reaching out to family and friends to help make a purchase decision! In-market research and comparison searches on mobile devices has more than tripled since 2011 making mobile an important ad format for auto dealerships. According to JD Power, 48 percent of vehicle buyers that shop on a mobile device use their smartphone while at the dealership, primarily to access vehicle pricing as well as model information, inventory and classifieds searches, and special offers and incentives. Thats where we fit in, TapCars is a managed service that posts auto dealerships used car inventory across social media — where consumers are looking!

When looking to buy a car, shoppers turn to mobile for a variety of reasons. The top 5 research activities on mobile are to view cars/trucks, call a dealer, read reviews, view current offers, and locate a dealer. Car shoppers are also using mobile for the same comparison activities. There are two primary actions in-market mobile shoppers do once they are on the lot; comparison/research and pricing activities. Comparison/research activities include looking at reviews, checking out a specific model, or reaching out to a family or friend for advice. If the car shopper is ready to buy they may search for pricing information, hours and contact information of a dealership, or researching discounts or other offers.

Video Engagement

Do you want to sell a vehicle? attach a video. Out of all the advertising formats, video ranks number one for driving consideration for car shoppers. The amount of time consumers are watching car videos is rising; one in four car shoppers watch an hour or more at some point during the research process, Google says. Video adds a human experience to the car brand, that text and photos can’t compete with. Things like infotainment systems, vehicle handling and emerging technology are easier and sometimes more exciting to illustrate with video. Nearly 84% of car shoppers said they would watch a video on their device next time they shop for a car. Videos help to introduce brands/new brands, help to learn more about specific cars/trucks, and to narrow down the purchase decision. In a research study by Google Think Insights, 74% of car shoppers said that they looked online at videos to learn about specific cars/trucks. And 57% said that videos helped introduce them to new brands. Almost half of all those who watched a video made a trip to the dealership!

Owning it!

Trends in the automotive industry have changed with the rise of digital connectivity. The car shopper’s journey is self driven backed by deep research. With car shoppers being digital savvy, dealerships need a strong online, mobile, and video presence to keep up with consumers — from inspiration to ownership!

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