- Prasanthi Pittala
The average car shopper today makes just two dealership visits in the search for the perfect vehicle. That’s because today car shoppers research models, find deals, and get real-time advice, all by sitting at the comfort of their home. No matter the source, data shows these early research moments are increasingly influenced by video.
It’s important today to consider how you can best meet people's needs at each step. If you work at a dealership, help make it easy for customers looking for videos and images of your cars, exploring configurations and building their own, or comparing your brand to competitive vehicles.
And don't forget to make it all as easy on mobile as it is on desktop. It’s no secret mobile phones have made us all impatient. We expect to find anything we need at the tips of our fingers. As a result, marketing cars is a bit like playing Jeopardy. It's not just about who has the right answer. It's also about who answers it the quickest. And the stakes for getting it wrong are high. It's essential that you be there and be useful in these moments, if you want to be one of the two visits to dealerships they make when ready to buy. If you aren't there with the right answer, the moment shoppers are looking, chances are someone else will be.
At this stage, the usage of video ranks very high. Auto shoppers search for vehicle test drives, highlights of features and options, and walkthroughs of the interior or exterior of the vehicle. Time spent watching these kinds of auto videos is up nearly 2X in the past year alone.
At some point, a shopper needs a reality check: will this car fit my needs and my life? Information about practical considerations, like seating accommodations and the number of airbags, are the hallmark of this stage.
Historically, fuel efficiency has been a key factor at this stage, but as gas prices drop, interest in fuel efficiency has followed suit, decreasing since 2011. One of the areas we're seeing increased interest is hauling capacity. Search interest is up for trunk space and towing capacity by 15% and 30% respectively, year-over-year. And perhaps as a result of those gas savings, people are also looking to treat themselves a bit more. We’ve seen interest for luxury options on the rise with search interest up for features like panoramic sunroof and backup camera by 31% and 23% respectively, year-over-year.
For more information on using video at your dealership, please reach out to Doug Thompson at VehiclesTEST.com (954-629-2242), or set up a demo with him.