Researching and dealing in Automobiles on the Internet is in the fast lane. According to a survey conducted by Burst Media in May 2007, 71.9% of in-market respondents use the Internet to research automobile models that they plan to either purchase or lease. Men (75.8%) use the Internet more than women (64.9%) to research cars online. Surprisingly, more than 51.6% of users aged 65 years or above use Internet for vehicle research.
Approximately one-fourth of the in-market customers believe that independent sites are the best source of information about auto models. Nearly 37.6% or one-third of all age segments have watched an online video about an auto they might buy or lease. More than half (54.7%) of those who have watched a video – and 64.2% of those aged 18-34 – said that the video made them more likely to consider the model that was featured.
According to Burst Media, most users (52.9%) use the Internet to search for pricing information of the vehicles that they plan to buy. Pricing is followed by fuel economy (43.4%), performance info (43.0%), model specs (40.3%), safety info (39.9%), interior and exterior pictures (39.9%) and interior features (38.0%).
More than one-fourth of the in-market customers believe that independent sites provide better information on car models than other sites. A three-month study conducted by comScore and Yahoo! found that approximately 45% of Internet users in America visit automotive sites.
According to a research report published by comScore MediaMetrix in mid 2006, US Internet users aged 35 – 44 are 18% more likely than the average online adult to make an automotive purchase. Internet users aged 25 – 34 are 17% more likely than the normal to purchase an automobile, and they represent nearly 5 million consumers.
According to “Luxury Car Website Benchmark” approximately 85% of car buyers visit automobile manufacturers’ sites before purchasing, 80% use the Internet to compare cars from different manufacturers and 20% go online again just before their final decision.
Clearly, Auto is becoming an important online segment and both media companies and entrepreneurs are warming up to the idea of either sprucing up their online presence or launching new sites to take advantage of this lifestyle segment. Marketers and advertisers have also recognized the growing importance of Internet and are spending big dollars on online advertising. EMarketer estimates that in 2007 auto will account for $2.54 billion of the $19.5 billion total spent on online advertising. Now that is almost 15% of the online advertising pie.
See why we’re spending time talking about this category?