5 Consumer Behaviors and Trends Every Car Dealer Needs to Know About

automotive marketingKnowing what consumers are thinking is a tough task in every industry, and this is especially true for car dealerships. Behaviors of car shoppers can be irrational, erratic, and hard to pin down when it comes to predicting what will move them to actually make a purchase. Myriad factors like budget, co-decision making with a spouse, and/or brand preference all play into the decision making process.

However, there are certain trends in car shopping that every car dealer needs to know, so that you can tailor your automotive marketing to be optimally effective. That’s why we’re giving you these top trends car dealers need to know and how you can leverage them for bigger sales figures.

1. Shoppers Are More Knowledgeable Than Ever

Thanks to the explosion of information on the internet, consumers are more informed about their potential purchase decisions than ever before. When car shopping, potential buyers have already done a good amount of homework and are further along in the purchasing journey than ever before when they step onto the car lot. They don’t necessarily need to rely on the sales staff for information because much of it is now available online.

2. Shoppers Are Utilizing Blog Content

Blogs on the internet are providing useful information to consumers and businesses and car buyers have learned to leverage these resources when it comes to making purchase decisions. Over time, certain blogs and content will generate a high amount of credibility, and shoppers follow them via RSS feeds and social media so that they’re constantly informed about new topics and issues.

3. Shoppers Are Utilizing Video Content

Video content has been exploding in recent years, and it’s become a great way for consumers (especially car shoppers) to do their research. Video content allows for information to be easily digested in a fun and exciting way. For car shoppers, it allows them to see features of vehicles such as colors, interiors and on-road performance quickly and easily. As a car dealer, creating this type of content — that shoppers find useful — will help build brand awareness and trust in the eyes on the consumer.

4. Shoppers Are Using Peer Reviews

Don’t underestimate the power that peer review sites have for car shoppers. Not only do they have product and service reviews from previous customers, but they can also contain product demos and video reviews which carry a lot of weight. Aside from the actual product, buyers today are placing a lot of emphasis on other people’s experience with the brand and dealership. By optimizing your reputation on peer review sites, you’ll be on the right track to optimizing your marketing bridge as it relates to the pre-purchase research phase. Finally, having a positive  brand reputation on peer review sites will go a long way to convert some of your customers into new car buyers when they’re ready.

5. Shoppers Are Utilizing Social Media

Social media has become a go-to resource for automotive buyers, with 38% of consumers now saying that they consult their social media network prior to purchasing their next car. Brands like Dodge, for example, are using social media in unique and effective ways to engage their audience. Dodge actually allowed consumers to customize their vehicles, share the design on social media and allow friends and family to sponsor certain parts of the design. This unconventional style of crowdfunding netted them a Shorty awards for social media engagement.

Finally, as a dealership you’ll want to make sure that you integrate social media and blogging with your overall strategy when it comes to what times of the month you advertise. By tailoring your automotive marketing to take advantage of these trends in car shopping, you’ll give your dealership a great chance to increase business and make your customers happier than ever.

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