Digital is one of the emerging opportunity for the auto industry. Year over year automobile customers dependence on digital is increasing. Google recently released a research report on the auto research and purchase process affects with digital. According to this report the auto intenders at present are open minded with 72% of search sessions are involving cross shopping. On average the shoppers are turning to twenty four research touch points. As well the usage of mobile has increased 35% year over year with a focus on comparison and research activities. Videos are the part of research is on the rise and online video was the number one format for encouraging brand consideration. Majority (62%) of the vehicle owners said that the future purchases could influences by the customer.

  • Cross shopping: Cross shopping is the standard behavior, a double digit increase is showing with segment searches.
    • In the segment searches there is no difference in 2010 and 2011 with 9% and in 2012 with +22% rise it reached 11%.
    • In third party searches cross shopping is decreasing by -7% year over year from 2010 to 2012, 29%, 27% and 25% respectively.
    • There is a +4% growth in brand purchases from 2010 (27%) to 2011 (28%) and the following year is also same as 28%.
    • There is no change in the competitor search from 2011 to 2012 as 36% and it is a +3% increase from 2010’s 35%.
  • Time and online sources: According to the September 2013 Millward Brown Digital and Google Vehicle Shopper Path to Purchase Study, regardless of time in-market, purchasers use many online sources. In total 82% of purchasers are in-market for three months or less. For less than one month research on average 7.3 digital sources are used, for one to three months and more period research 8.1 sources are used.
  • Research points by auto shoppers: Today’s auto shoppers are doing more research than ever. On average there are 24 research touch points. Shoppers are looking for information for cars/trucks on different aspects through different mediums. The points they touched are models comparison, dealer sites, search engines, sharing, request a quote, watching videos and video sites, consumer review sites, original equipment manufacturer sites, third party sites, TV, radio dealer location and following in the social media.
  • Digital drives auto shopping: The major factors that drive in person are dealer visit & test drive (89%) and salesperson (82%). In offline TV (53%), Newspaper (38%) and magazines (35%). Even digital is playing a big role leading up to purchase and increasing year over year. Dealership and manufacturer websites are 83% and 81% respectively, search engines 77% (+20% increase year over year). Online mapping tools (43%) having +23% of year over year growth and video sites (37%) have +28% growth.

Along with them advertisements like direct emails, video ad, mobile and tablet ads, TV, search, email, online website, newspapers and magazine ads are prompted consumers to start researching.

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