There is lots of talk nowadays about the ‘connected consumer’. How to reach them, how to engage with them, and how to convert them from browsers to buyers. After attending the AM Digital Dealer Conference at the Heritage Motor Centre recently and listening to many professionals trying to make sense of it all, we thought we’d give our thoughts on the matter with the aid of some astounding statistics from Hugh Dickerson, Google’s Head of Automotive.
For a while now, we have focused on the thought that ‘consumers are changing the way they make purchasing decisions’. Well this is no longer true. Consumers have changed, and to keep up, the world of commerce needs to adapt on how to tap into the new decision-making processes. In 2005, just 11% of customers trusted online stores. Now, in 2014, 75% of customers want a personalised shopping experience.
The change in the online consumer has been so dramatic it is no longer a case of simple supply and demand. The consumer enjoys their shopping experience – the browsing and contemplating time the internet allows without the hassle of a pesky salesman breathing down their neck.
Almost 85% of buyers research online before visiting a dealership
It is during this time that consumers digest information on many options they may be looking at, with the average buyer contemplating four different brands during their buying journey. They are informed and have a good idea of what they want before they even step foot inside a dealership. But they didn’t start out this way…
79% of buyers don’t know what make and model they want at the start of their buying journey
Ah, so how do dealers tailor their websites for people who don’t actually know what they are looking for? And for that matter, those that do know what they are looking for, since on average, 40% of car buyers purchase a car they did not consider at the start of their buying journey, and 21% buy a car they discovered during their search. Well, as the old saying goes, variety is indeed the spice of life, especially when it comes to marketing.
It is important to not only focus on how consumers find you on the World Wide Web, but what experience you give them when they are there. We’ve all heard ‘content is king’, and it is still relevant, but a lot has changed since Bill Gates popularised the term back in the 90s. Nowadays content comes in many forms, from hero content to hygiene content, imagery to video, all play an important role in engaging with the connected consumer.
78% will use online video during their next car purchase
The consumer will be a forever evolving entity for the world of commerce, especially with technology constantly progressing but all that is for certain is the attitude of ‘I don’t like change’ will not stead well, but embracing the digital age will most certainly give you a head start. And on that note, we’ll leave you with one last nugget of information:
66% of 18-34 year olds would consider buying a car online