There’s no question that the Internet has changed the way people shop. From research and reviews to clicking a “buy now” button, online shopping has made virtually everything consumers need just a click away. But how does this changing technology affect how people shop for cars?
Polk.com says people are using the Internet as a tool to research their auto purchases in large numbers, including dealer and third-party sites, and they’re doing so on their computers, cell phones, and tablets. This new wave of automotive shopping is fueled by Millennials, who visit an average of 25 websites before they enter a dealership, says MSN Autos. Social media plays a large role in the car buying process as well. A study from eBay Motors says that more than half of Millennial car buyers are strongly influenced by what their friends have to say on Facebook.
Because this generation could represent as many as 75% of car buyers by 2025, car companies and dealers are tasked with meeting them where they shop: on the Internet. And they are up for the challenge. Dealerships across the U.S. offer customers the ability to browse new and used inventory straight from their website, as well as get an estimate of their vehicle’s trade-in value. According to DigitalTrends.com, Audi has created an entirely digital car shopping experience at some of its dealerships, offering consumers the opportunity to check out—and customize—cars on large, touchscreen panels. They’ve even gone so far as to pump out the exact audio of the chosen engine to provide a shopping experience as close to the real thing as possible.
We want to hear from you- how do you use the Internet and/or social media when you shop for new vehicle? Let us know in the comments below!