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Evening hour is most popular time for online searches

More online car searches happen between 8.30pm and 9.30pm than any other time of day.

Analysis of the 2.4 million monthly visitors to the What Car? website also show that in-market buyers are also using their weekends to search more than weekdays, with Sundays attracting more online searches than any other day of the week (15%).

Graham Ede, What Car? Connect director, said: “We know from our analysis that buyers prefer to do all of their model research online. Typically, they don’t want to speak to anyone at a dealer until the moment they need to sign on the dotted line. Then they prefer to be face-to-face.

“What this new analysis shows us is that people have less and less time to do that online research during their working day, even for a large purchase like a car. They are having to wait until they have arrived home in the evenings and had some dinner before sitting down to compare makes and models.”

Between them, Sunday and Monday – when people are perhaps still reluctant to get back into the swing of the daily grind – represent nearly 30% of all searches at in a typical week. Traffic dwindles through the middle of the week and picks up again by Friday.

Ede believes that, in this market, dealers must adapt to the way consumers are buying products in order to survive.

“The golden opportunity for dealers looking to capitalise on leads generated online is between 8.30pm and 9.30pm."

“Whether it’s being able to access a live chat service to talk to customers direct while they are searching, or simply having a system in place to follow up leads first thing the next morning, adopting an ‘always on’ approach will be fundamental to survival for dealers in the next 18 months.”

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