Survey Finds 70% Of Car Buyers Search Web For Info, Few Use Social Media

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.

About the author

Frank Watson has been involved with the Web since it started. For the past five years, he headed SEM for FXCM -- at one time one of the top 25 spenders with AdWords. He has worked with most of the major analytics companies and pioneered the ability to tie online marketing with offline conversion.

He has now started his own marketing agency, Kangamurra Media. This new venture will keep him busy when he is not editing the Search Engine Watch forums, blogging at a number of authoritative sites, and developing some interesting online community sites.

He was one of the first 100 AdWords Professionals, a Yahoo and Overture Ambassador, and a member or mod of many of the industry forums. He is also on the Click Quality Council and has worked hard to diminish click fraud.