Jun 27, 2013
ATLANTA, June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- According to a new study commissioned by AutoTrader.com®, the Internet is making car shopping more efficient. The 2013 Polk Automotive Buyer Influence Study revealed that the amount of time consumers spend shopping for a car has decreased dramatically in the last two years; however, the percentage of their shopping time that is spent online has increased substantially.
First conducted in 2011 and then fielded again in 2013, the study showed that new car buyers who used the Internet in the shopping process reported spending 13.75 hours shopping for a vehicle, a decrease of 5.25 hours since 2011. Similarly, used car buyers who used the Internet during the shopping process spent 15.25 hours shopping, a decrease of 2.75 hours since 2011.
Although consumers are spending less time shopping overall, they are spending a greater percentage of their shopping time online than they were in 2011. Previously, buyers spent an average of 60 percent of their shopping time online, but that percentage increased to 75 percent in 2013 (77 percent for new car buyers and 73 percent for used car buyers). These changes were likely driven by several factors, including the improved quality and quantity of listings, as well as better merchandising online, greater use of mobile devices and also macro factors such as the continually improving economy.
"When we commissioned the first study a few years ago, the economy wasn't as strong as it is now, and we believe that shoppers were being much more cautious, taking longer before arriving at their final purchase decision," said Kevin Filan, vice president of customer marketing and industry relations at AutoTrader Group. "Now that the economy is stronger, buyers are taking less time overall, but they are devoting more of that time to shopping online. This is significant, as it points to the increasing influence of the Internet during the shopping process."
The study also revealed that the role of traditional media in the shopping process has decreased notably. Though all forms of traditional media showed decreases in usage, the biggest declines in usage of traditional media during the shopping process for both new and used car buyers were seen in print newspapers, television and direct mail.
"While dealers, OEMs and their advertising agencies have shifted more money into online advertising, there is still a large imbalance in the allocation between traditional and digital mediums," Filan continued. "We know from the study that buyers who use the Internet are spending the most time on third-party sites, so dealers and automakers should ensure they are marketing their brands, their dealerships and their inventory where the active car shoppers are going online. And with continued double digit traffic growth and our largest traffic months in our history taking place in the first half of this year, AutoTrader.com is more relevant than any time in our 15 year history of making car buying and selling easier."
In addition to the key stats mentioned above, the study also found that:
The 2013 Polk Automotive Buyer Influence Study, commissioned by AutoTrader.com, was conducted among over 2700 car buyers and ran from December 2012 through April 2013. Ninety percent of buyers who were surveyed purchased a vehicle in the six months preceding their participation. The study used a combination of online and offline survey methods, resulting in a large, random representative sample of online and offline car buyers.
Created in 1997, Atlanta-based AutoTrader.com is the Internet's ultimate automotive marketplace. As a leading resource for car shoppers and sellers, AutoTrader.com aggregates millions of new, used and certified pre-owned cars from thousands of dealers and private sellers and provides expert articles and reviews. AutoTrader.com, which also operates the AutoTraderClassics.com® auto marketing brand, is wholly owned by AutoTrader Group™. Additionally, AutoTrader Group owns Kelley Blue Book® (KBB.com) as well as three other companies that provide a full suite of software tools that help dealers and manufacturers manage their inventory and advertising online: vAuto®, HomeNet Automotive® and VinSolutions®. AutoTrader Group is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises. Providence Equity Partners is a 25 percent owner of the company and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is also an investor. For more information, please visit http://press.autotrader.com.
For further information: Julie Shipp, 404-568-7914 (o) 404-558-7837 (m), firstname.lastname@example.org