With much of the decision-making process for used car buyers taking place online, understanding the consumer’s virtual journey is vital in the battle to win customers, according to Google Senior industry head Hugh Dickerson.
Latest industry research from Google, which tracks the online consumer journey from research to enquiry to purchase, will be presented by Dickerson to delegates at this year’s AM Used Car Market Conference which takes place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on October 10.
Comments Dickerson: “The searches a used car buyer makes prior and during their decision-making and buying process is fascinating but with the development of mobile websites and rising tablet usage as well as a wealth of information and customer reviews, it is also increasingly complex.
“We follow consumer searches closely and have built up an in-depth picture of the typical consumer journey identifying the best times to engage to boost enquiries and ultimately sales. These ‘moments that matter’ make all the difference when converting web traffic to enquiries and test drive appointments.”
The online engagement undertaken by the would-be car buyer is, in general, not a linear one with many consumers researching using a variety of devices, engaging in online enquiries or Live Chat at various points of the buying process, often interspersed with on-site visits combined with additional mobile searches.
Dickerson said: “Consumer behaviour is no longer a simple case of researching online, making an enquiry and visiting the forecourt. Dealers need to grasp the complexities of the way in which the used car buyer now uses the internet to decide their next used car and when to engage. By developing a true understanding of these moments when interactions by the dealer is crucial will deliver a more efficient and effective used car digital strategy which in turn has a much higher likelihood of netting results.”
Dickerson forms part of a jam-packed conference programme which also includes latest figures, trends and analysis from CAP from operations director Adrian Rushmore and the 2013 BCA Used Car Market Report findings from report author Professor Peter Cooke.