Buyers turn to online

Car showrooms of tomorrow could exist almost entirely online according to Sophus3.

Automotive digital marketing analysts, Sophus3 has released its quarterly summary on the latest research into how consumers are accessing information from major car brands and the device of choice is clearly mobile phone technology.

The UK and Spain lead the way with mobile use for accessing car websites and though the UK leads the way in tablet use for the same research, this is on the decline as tablets gradually become less relevant due to the capabilities of Smartphones.

Mobile usage for car shopping in the UK continues to grow at a rate of knots and now represents 59% of all visits to car brand sites.

Consumers can take a virtual tour of the online showroom and even take virtual test drives as the industry continues to adapt to the demands of the customer base.

Sophus3 chairman Marcus Hodgkinson said, ‘Just a decade ago, the average new car buyer visited six dealers before buying their car. This has now dropped to less than two visits.

‘At the same time, the proportion of visitors who use the internet as their primary pre-purchase research channel has risen to above 90% which is a massive shift away from the traditional consumer journey of yesterday.

‘The majority of these web visits take place via a mobile device. As a result, by the time the car buyer visits the showroom they often know more about the car they want to buy than the sales person selling it.’

Consumers’ trust in the automotive industry is high with warranties and guarantees of quality standard with all new purchases and after accessing the brand’s online offerings, there is a wealth of expert opinion pieces and a raft of reviews easily accessible.