A new type of customer is being introduced to car showrooms, according to the JD Power 2018 India Sales Satisfaction Index study released this week, which found that 54% of new-vehicle buyers have used the internet as a pre-shopping tool this year, nearly double from 2013.
“Buyers who used the internet as a pre-shopping tool for their vehicle exhibit different shopping characteristics than those who did not. Prior to purchasing a vehicle, the former group is less reliant on feedback from friends than those who do not use the internet (59% versus 74%, respectively). When researching a new vehicle, buyers who used the internet tended to shop around more, with 33% of them having visited other dealerships of the same brand compared to those who did not use the internet (15%),” the study noted. It also found that, during the purchasing process, 93% of buyers who used the internet negotiated the price and 83% took a test drive.
“Digital channels enable customers to receive vast amounts of information before purchase,” said Kaustav Roy, regional director at JD Power. “They are likely to be far more analytical and demanding not only during the transaction process of the vehicle, but also of the overall experience. Brands and dealers must understand the requirements of these buyers and bridge the online and offline purchase journeys.”
In addition, the study found that a majority of female buyers (74%) research online (13% of all car buyers are women), and 88% of them take a test drive (compared to 79% male buyers who test drive a vehicle). Also, 50% female buyers enquire about audio/entertainment, safety and maintenance from the dealer.