Car buyers who shop a lot online also shop a lot in dealerships

Car buyers who shop a lot online also shop a lot in dealerships

New-vehicle buyers who spend the most time on the Internet before purchase also visit the most dealerships, concludes a new study by J.D. Power, the 2014 New Autoshopper Study.

–There may be a notion in the marketplace that the more auto shoppers use the Internet to determine which vehicle to buy, the fewer dealers they are inclined to shop, yet we see just the opposite,” said Ariane Walker, senior director, automotive media and marketing at J.D. Power.

Internet users spend an average of nearly 14 hours shopping online. Those who spend the most time online 12 hours or more visit 3.3 dealers. The vast majority use their desktop or laptop, but nearly a third used their smartphone or tablet, up from last year. More than 40 percent used multiple devices.

More than a third of Internet users used a smartphone or tablet while shopping at a dealership, most commonly searching for vehicle pricing, model information, inventory and special offers on incentives. Among Internet users who used mobile devices at the dealership, 84 percent used the pricing information to negotiate, and usually got a better deal.

–Shoppers are gathering information digitally up to the moment the deal is signed,” said Walker. –Dealers need to accept this process as the new status quo and provide complete transparency with price, value and product offering.”

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