Use the internet to build relationships with car buyers
Customers will use the internet for researching pre-sales information, but not for the actual sales transactions, says Jupiter Media Metrix.
The internet is already a part of buying a new car for many people. Jupiter Media Metrix says that internet-generated sales account for nearly 13% of new car sales at present; this is set to rise to 32% in 2006. Internet-generated sales of used cars currently run at 4%; this is set to rise to 12% over the same period. But the internet will remain just part of the process. According to Jupiter, customers will use the internet for researching pre-sales information, but not for the actual sales transactions.
Relationship-building tool This means that, for manufacturers and dealers, it is going to be an extremely important tool for building relationships with customers and prospective customers. According to Jupiter analyst, Julie Ask: "The ability to research automobiles on scores of Web sites has created an educated customer base armed with information once held by captive dealers. Competing for those buyers inclined to shop online will require dealers to adopt a different skill set - one that focuses more on responsiveness, openness and service. Dealers who want to succeed must prepare to rise to the challenge and adapt to a new breed of automotive buyers."
Ask continues: "The impact of the Internet on the automotive industry extends beyond the initial transaction to lifetime vehicle ownership. Dealers must use the Web to build an adaptive relationship with the consumer, starting with a rich understanding of customers' buying histories and extending to lifetime service of the vehicle."
What they look at Jupiter's research has found that when visiting a car-related web site, consumers are most interested in detailed product information (42%), side-by-side comparisons (23%) and ratings and reviews from other consumers (9%).
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