A change in buyer behaviour

  21 December 2015

Ever since the widespread uptake of the internet as a way of advertising cars, retailers have asked two questions. Firstly, what’s the cost per lead and secondly how do you track customers as they move from online to the showroom.

This week, Auto Trader’s chief exec Trevor Mather claimed that approximately half of those looking at cars online don’t bother to contact the retailer before a visit. If that figure is true for the industry it means we’ll have to reassess both of those two standard questions.

Firstly it makes the cost per lead argument more about cost per view of an advert, because the more views means the right person is likely to see the car and then buy it. And the second part is now a moot point.

What’s interesting is why car buyers aren’t calling or emailing before visiting a showroom. Several theories abound. It could be that there’s enough information in online car adverts that they don’t need to ask more, or that they trust the retailer will still have the car by the time they arrive on site. Or, from a more negative thinking, it could be that they don’t expect retailers to answer email or the phone, so just turn up.

What ever the reason, one thing still remains unchanged. When a customer walks into the showroom, more than ever, they are ready to buy, which has to be a good thing.

Given this is the last issue of Auto Retail Agenda before the 25th, on behalf of the entire team at Auto Retail Network I’d like to wish you all a very happy Christmas. The next issue of Agenda will be in ‘lite’ form and will be with you on Monday 28th December.

Tristan Young

Editorial Director

Auto Retail Network

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