Following a buyer behaviour study, Auto Trader is urging car dealers to focus carefully on their online points of contact which drive leads when doors are shut.
The second Annual Buyer Behaviour Study1 conducted by GfK for Auto Trader, pooled the experience of 1,300 car buyers spanning a three month period into quarter one 2015.
It showed that 86% of consumers search for their next car after 6pm, with two thirds of AutoTrader.co.uk searches being generated from a mobile or tablet.
24% of desktop users, 18% of tablet searchers and 36% of smartphone users said they were most likely to search between the hours of 9 and 6pm when dealers’ doors are typically open.
Walk-ins are also now the first point of consumer-dealer contact in 58% of transactions. For franchise dealers, the research revealed a higher figure at two thirds or 66%, compared with 50% when asked the same question a year ago.
Market research director at Auto Trader, Nick King, said: “This latest research continues to frame a buying journey where a forecourt visit is increasingly the affirmation of a decision made following extensive research online.
“In this new online environment, things like full page advert views and a content-rich, responsive dealer website become key tools in driving leads. They are the ‘night watchmen’ for your dealership, the professional face of your online business that drive leads out-of-hours, or in the absence of any active engagement with you or a member of your team.”
Auto Trader will report further findings from the report in the weeks to come and will repeat the study annually.