JudgeService has encouraged dealers to invest in their online platforms after new research revealed that 50.54% of sales for car dealerships come through online referrals.
The research, which surveyed almost 126,000 car buyers on where they purchased their car from, found that dealership website referrals came out on top with nearly a quarter of buyers choosing their cars through dealer websites (23.88%), closely followed by almost 25% (24.52%) of people finding cars through another website.
Nearly one-in-ten (7.71%) of referrals came from Google and just under than two per cent (1.88%) from social media platforms.
JudgeService’s managing director, Neil Addley, said: “In today’s society, the power of the internet is more prevalent than ever. Our research supports the importance of protecting your online presence with strong reviews, spec and ranking.”
JudgeService is encouraging dealers to maximise digital offerings to attract customers and boost sales.
More traditional ways of targeting consumers like TV, radio and newspaper adverts all ranked low in terms of referrals, along with insurance company referrals which came last with less than one per cent (0.09%) of referrals.
The research shows the importance word of mouth still holds for customers, showing experience came in at under 20% (18.38%) and family and friends’ recommendation at just under 15% (14.22%), highlighting consumers like a combination of both digital recommendations and actual referrals from those we trust.
Crucially recommendations had the highest level of customer satisfaction.
Addley said: “First impressions really do count and it’s more than likely that a customer’s first experience with your business will be online. If your business isn’t hitting its best online capabilities in terms of these – it’s time to go back to basics and re-look at your digital presence.”