A recent survey by Polk and Autotrader.com found that car buyers spend between 18-19 hours searching for information before making a decision, Tech Journal South reported. Over 70% use the web for research, though only 3% said they used information from social media for their buying decision, the Automotive Buyer Influence Study found.
"For all vehicle buyers, the Internet is undoubtedly the most heavily used and the most inﬂ uenial channel. Today, seventy-one percent of consumers use the Internet while shopping for new and used vehicles, more than double the usage of any other information source. More importantly, the majority of buyers said the Internet was the most inﬂuenital source leading to their purchase decision," the report stated.
"Search engines are commonly used, with Google cited as a primary mechanism for getting car buyers to the dealership website from which they purchased their vehicle. About half of buyers who visited a dealer website arrived at that site via search," the Tech Journal South noted.
"Through this research with Polk, AutoTrader.com was able to further explore the impact and influence that internet advertising has on car shoppers and car buyers and the overall amount of time they spent on the Internet," AutoTrader.com President & CEO Chip Perry told the Tech Journal South.
The searches included finding addresses or websites for dealerships, though less than 30% use it to get contact information, the report noted.
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