AM Online

Guest opinion: 'Let's be clear - younger customers use the internet early in the buying cycle'

Author Chris Green (pictured), sales and media director at

"The recent research from Experian which claims that just one third of younger car buyers would surf the internet for information, preferring instead to consult friends and family, or talk to a dealership sales person first, begs more questions than it answers.

As we all know, young people are avid users of social media such as Instagram and Snapchat and it is partly down to this audience that these apps have ballooned in user size. 

"Any of us who spend time with 18-24 year olds will know that this audience spends a huge amount of time talking to friends and family, via social media, on their smart phones and pads.

It is exceptionally naïve to believe that this audience are communicating to friends and family daily about a range of topics, except the next car they are thinking of buying - the second largest purchase they will ever make.

"And are we to believe that young people would rather telephone, email or visit friends and family, or talk to a dealer to source information or advice, rather than using social media to do this? 

"The bottom line is this audience uses social media heavily and without doubt, the internet is the first starting point for consumers looking to buy a car.

"So how big is social media for this audience, how are they accessing it and what are they using?
"Recent research from Comscore shows that the internet is now primarily a mobile medium.

"It is estimated that 51% of digital media time was spent on mobile apps, while an amazing 60% of digital time was spent on mobile devices. That’s up from 50% a year ago. 

"Comscore stats also show that Facebook remains the most popular social media app for 18-24 year olds (76%), followed by Instagram (43%), Snapchat (24%) and Twitter (23%).

"The latest Google stats tell us that 94% of car buyers start their research online, so it is imperative that manufacturers and dealers showcase their brand and offers very early on in the buying cycle, in order to capture the interest of early bird consideration buyers."

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  • Vincent Finlayson - 23/09/2014 18:13

    The hyperlink "recent research from Experian" does now NOT resolve to the original article of 12 September, but to another of 19 Sept. Odd??