Strategies to Target and Convert Today’s Omnichannel Automotive Shopper

The car buying journey from initial research to final purchase is increasingly complex as consumers shop, research, and purchase across numerous channels. Take a look at these interesting facts on how consumers shop for vehicles today.

  • Car buyers spend 60% of their time researching and shopping for a new vehicle online.
  • 88% of all car buyers use the internet to car shop and almost half (46%) do their car shopping across multiple devices.
  • While walk-in remains the most common initial form of contact with dealers for 56% of all car buyers, the phone comes in second for 25% of all car buyers, and email in third place as 14% of car buyers’ initial form of contact.
  • The top 5 online activities for car buyers during the shopping process is as follows:
    1. Research car pricing
    2. Find actual vehicles listed for sale
    3. Compare different models
    4. Find out what their current car is worth
    5. Locate a dealer or get dealer info
  • Third-party sites are the most used for online car shopping with 78% of total car buyers using them.
  • The majority of car buyers know the brand they are looking for but are unsure of the dealership they wish to buy from.


dealership leads

Clearly, automotive brands must be focused on all aspects of the customer journey.  This path to purchase determines how a customer comes into contact with your brand, where they seek more information, and, crucially, how they make the decision to purchase. However, it’s a steep challenge to connect with consumers and optimize marketing spend especially considering that different channels impact awareness and final purchase decisions.

While television and radio play a role in developing initial brand awareness and fill the top of the funnel pipeline, automotive brands must be more strategic during the consideration phase and final purchase decision.

Target Automotive Shoppers Online

Shopping for cars on Facebook happens more often than you may realize. Did you know that nearly a quarter of prospective car buyers use Facebook for researching their next car purchase?

According to Turning Social Feeds Into Business Leads:

38% of consumers say they will consult social media in making their next car purchase

  • 23% of car buyers say they use social media to communicate their purchase experience
  • 84% of automotive shoppers are on Facebook, and 24% of them have used Facebook as a resource for making their vehicle purchases
  • 40% of new car purchases over the next 10 years will be made by millennials
  • 94% of millennial car buyers gather information online

Target In-Market Shoppers

There are many options in which you can spend your media dollars.  In addition to targeting consumers via online sources, be sure to focus your spending on those consumers who are actively shopping and in-market for a vehicle.

The biggest challenge for automotive marketers is identifying these in-market consumers and converting them into customers. In today’s competitive auto industry, marketers have implemented many different ways to understand and measure their current and potential consumer base. However, marketers need better ways to identify consumers when a car shopper is expressing active purchase intent by visiting a lot.

Unlike traditional mobile marketing, which only targets the device, Porch Group Media has developed a mobile location intelligence solution called Signals. The solution uses mobile location device data to identify highly qualified prospects segmented by dealer brand visited, vehicle brand owned, distance calculations from neighbor dealerships, and more.

dealership leads

Example: Signals in Proximity to Local Dealership

Today, automotive brands need every edge to remain competitive and profitable. Targeting consumers online while they are researching and optimizing spend on those consumers most likely to be in-market are a few key strategies to ensure your brand reaches maximum potential.

Download our free Automotive Marketing Success Kit to learn more great tips and strategies to acquire new customers.

Automotive Marketing Success Kit

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