Manufacturer sites dependent on content websites to catch consumer before they decide, reports Kantar study

Manufacturer websites play a limited role in the early stages of the car buying process as consumers favour automotive content sites. A study recently concluded by Kantar for Auto Trader suggests that more than half do not go to a car maker’s website in the first 30 days of their online research, choosing instead content-led sites to consider options, prices and to weigh-up the best possible deal.

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London, United Kingdom (PRWEB) August 16, 2014

Manufacturer websites play a limited role in the early stages of the car buying process as consumers favour automotive content sites. A study recently concluded by Kantar for Auto Trader suggests that more than half do not go to a car maker’s website in the first 30 days of their online research, choosing instead content-led sites to consider options, prices and to weigh-up the best possible deal.

In a rapid path-to-purchase that takes an average of just six weeks for 85% of new car buyers, 63% initially turn to content-led websites. The most visited site for people who were researching brand new cars is Auto Trader with 64%, three times as many as the second placed site, eBay at 22%, and with 13% going to GumTree.

Most used automotive site people use to research brand new cars
Auto Trader    64%
eBay    22%
GumTree    13%
Motors    9%
WhatCar?    8%
Parkers    7%
Pistonhead    6%
AutoExpress    5%
RAC    5%
TopGear    3%

Brand promiscuous buyers take just ten steps on the fast track to purchase, the study also reveals. And while 60% say they are considering up to three brands at the outset, online behavior points to an average of just 1.8 manufacturer sites visited, suggesting many options are dismissed at the initial research stage.

Number of brands consumers are considering when buying a new car.
1 car brand    9%
2 car brands    31%
3 car brands    25%
4 car brands    16%
5 car brands    7%
6 car brands    4%
7+ car brands    8%

“It is clear that automotive content sites play a leading role in an increasingly rapid path to purchase for new car buyers and Auto Trader is at the top of the car buying funnel,” said Chris Ward, Auto Trader display director. “Consumers are no longer brand loyal and automotive sites are now where buyers make their brand comparisons and decisions – even which brand to finally purchase.”

The Kantar study measured online desktop activity over a three month period tracking more than 300,000 transactions.

It also found that people do not necessarily follow their original purchase intention when considering options to buy a new, nearly new or used model. For example, of those who planned to buy a nearly new car, 18% bought brand new.

A recent separate study from Aurora Market Research among 1024 car buyers, 21% of the people buying a new car started out looking for a used car, while only 3% of people looking for buying a new car changed their mind and bought a used car. Research indicates that the more research you do, the more likely it is that you buy a new car.

62% of new car buyers don’t contact a dealer before arriving on their forecourt. This mirrors the average number of forecourt visits that has fallen by 41% in the last four years to an average of 2.2 visits in 2014 according to the latest Google Gearshift report. For new car buyers the average number of forecourt visits is down to 1.6.

For more information, please contact:
Nigel Wonnacott, PR Director at JJ Marketing, on 07802 483 971 or nigel.wonnacott(at)jjmarketing(dot)co(dot)uk
Carl Zide, Head of Communications at Auto Trader on 07525 405468 or carl.zide(at)autotrader(dot)co(dot)uk

About Auto Trader
Auto Trader is the largest motoring marketplace in the United Kingdom with over 11,5 million unique monthly users making more than 159 million searches among over 475 000 new and used vehicles. 63% of all visits to autotrader.co.uk are made using a mobile device, through the mobile-optimised site and apps. Over 12 000 automotive retailers use our tools and services to buy, sell, manage and market their businesses. Auto Trader generates £250 million of revenue per year and employs 830 people. For more information, visit http://www.autotrader.co.uk/ or download the iOS or Android app. Auto Trader is the most popular site for selling cars in the United Kingdom with more than 3 times as many car buyers as any other automotive site: http://www.autotrader.co.uk/cars/selling.


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