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Car dealers, ignore the Net at your own risk; new study reveals 60 pc car buyers compare cars online

19-August-2006
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Car dealers, ignore the Net at your own risk; new study reveals 60 pc car buyers compare cars online

The Internet has come to play a major role in one’s car purchasing decision. Less than 2 per cent of consumers have bought a car online, but more that 60 per cent of car buyers compare cars online before deciding on the right set of wheels, revealed a study by Experian, a global information solutions company.

The consumer research was conducted by Future Foundation, an Experian company, which has identified the Internet as one of the key factors that determine car purchases.

According to the survey, women and children over the age of eight are also consulted before buying a car, which was never the case in the past.

Rob Whalley, Managing Director of Experian’s Automotive Division, said, “The trends highlighted by Future Foundation show why there is a real need for motor retailers to become more adept at running targeted marketing campaigns. Instead of simply categorising people by age, dealers need to understand more about who and where their potential customers are, not only in terms of looking for new prospects, but also by looking internally to their existing customer base. Ongoing data cleansing programmes should be employed to ensure data is up-to-date so money isn’t wasted on mailing unprofitable or non-existent customers.”

“With the level of importance consumers place on the Internet, dealers need to maximise their exposure in this area, not only by making their own site as user friendly as possible, but by also linking it to other relevant external sites and listing their stock,” Whalley added.

“With car prices coming down, endless lines of special offers – both in used and new car markets – and an environment where there are more cars than consumers, dealers need to maximise the profitability of both new and used car sales. They can achieve this by taking steps to better understand their current and potential customers and employing intelligent marketing techniques, which help them better target, acquire, manage and maximise customer relationships,” Whalley observed.

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