Online enquiries contributed to a 16% year-on-year increase in leads for new and used cars in the first quarter of 2017, according to new analysis from Dealerweb.
The 21% rise in web enquiries suggests more consumers than ever are completing more elements of the car buying journey online.
Dealerweb gathered the enquiry data from over 240 volume and premium-brand dealers across the UK. The company found that inbound telephone enquiries and walk-ins were marginally down, with leads from online sources accounting for all of the overall growth.
“As more buyers initiate and then progress a sales conversation online, the most successful dealers will have systems and processes in place to facilitate effective data capture and swift and robust follow-ups. This trend continues to gather pace, and we expect 2017 to be the biggest year yet for web leads,” said Martin Hill, managing director at Dealerweb.
The data released today shows a continuation of the trend seen during 2016, where dealers received more online enquiries than ever before. The third quarter of 2016 alone saw a 62% year-on-year rise in web leads, one of the biggest quarterly jumps yet.
49% of new car buyers expect dealers to respond within the hour.
In late 2016 Dealerweb surveyed 1,000 UK motorists on their expectations of the car buying process. The research found that 49% of buyers are more likely to complete a new or used car purchase if they receive a response to an online enquiry within one hour. 25% of these buyers say they expect the dealer to respond in under 30 minutes, and 34% of buyers would take their enquiry elsewhere if the dealer didn’t respond in under four hours.