When it comes to new car shopping, buyers are more open minded than previously thought with half saying they would consider any make when they begin their online research.
That is just one finding from the J.D. Power 2013 New Autoshopper Study, which analyzes how Automotive Internet Users (AIUs) use online devices to research prior to purchasing a vehicle.
That number climbs slightly for younger buyers, with 54 percent of the Generation Y buyers surveyed saying that they’re open to any vehicle when they begin their shopping process online.
Not surprisingly, 79 percent of new-vehicle buyers are now using the Internet to research during the shopping process with 47 percent of Gen-Y buyers consulting their smartphones while shopping for a new vehicle, whether it’s through the Internet or an app.
The survey also revealed that almost all Internet shoppers visit the automakers’ websites while researching, with 98 percent doing so, while 83 percent visit dealer sites and 80 percent visit third-party sites. Interestingly enough, only 7 percent of the shoppers involve social media sites while researching their next vehicle.
“It is important for brands and websites to pay special attention to Gen Y buyers, as they are increasing in market share at the greatest rate among all new-vehicle buyers and now comprise more than 20% of all retail sales. Automotive manufacturers have a great opportunity to influence these buyers during their shopping process, particularly since so many of them begin the process fairly open minded,” said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media & marketing at J.D. Power.