Online Consumer Behavior Changes in the Automotive Industry

Organic Search & SEO
YouTube
Site & eCommerce
Brand & Positioning Strategy
Content & Messaging
January 1, 2021
Automotive

Key Takeaways


Brand Awareness Tactic  — Influencer Marketing: Many luxury car companies tapped into influencer marketing as well as aspirational and value-for-money car brands. 88% of consumers trust online recommendations as much as face-to-face recommendations, making influencer marketing more powerful than ever. Influencers help to humanize the product, create aspiration and increase engagement.

Social Media Focus  — The Power of Youtube: YouTube is the most powerful channel for automotive brands to reinforce brand perception and to raise brand awareness to new audiences. According to Google, 1 in 3 auto buyers say YouTube helped change or reinforce brand perception. In addition, within  the next generation of car buyers, 70% of teens believe YouTubers are more reliable than celebrities. Car review channels on YouTube are extremely popular, with Carwow generating 59M views per month. 

Online Shopping  — Car Reviews & At-Home Test Drives: To overcome the hurdles of online shopping, car buyers are looking towards online car reviews and at-home test drives as an alternative to visiting a dealership. 33% of Canadians believe at-home test drives are the best alternative to a dealer visit.

Online Shopping  — Simplified & Convenient Experiences: When purchasing a vehicle online,  consumers are looking for the following:

  • Ability to easily compare cars
  • Detailed descriptions of the vehicle, accompanied by pictures and videos
  • Access to independent ratings
  • Pick up and delivery options
  • Car reviews
  • At-home test drives

Digital channels have become critically important throughout the vehicle purchasing funnel.

Vehicle Purchasing Funnel
Google Gearshift 2020 | Google “Canadian Auto Trends

Many luxury car companies tapped into influencer marketing as well as aspirational and value-for-money car brands.

Influencers
88% of consumers

YouTube is a powerful channel for automotive brands to reinforce brand perception and to raise brand awareness to new audiences.

YouTube
Google | Bloomberg

Google search and Youtube are the key elements that enable inspiration, discovery, comparison.

Google Search And YouTube
Google | 6 Different touchpoint

66% of people viewed at-home test drives and digital experiences as a good alternative to visiting a dealership.

Digital Experience
Google

46% of Canadians consider video car review to be the most popular digital alternative to visiting a dealership. 

Google

1 in 3 agreed they were influenced by YouTube to make a purchase. Top car review channels on YouTube are generating 87M views per month.

Carwow
Carwow

Consumers have also increased expectations in other areas of the digital research journey. Their main concern are a simplified and convenient experience.

Research
Google Gearshift 2020

Currently, only 3% of the general population bought a car online. However, 40% of millennials are wanting to purchase cars online indicating a shift towards digital channels in the near future.

Ready to buy
Google Gearshift 2020

Currently, only 3% of the general population bought a car online. However, 40% of millennials are wanting to purchase cars online indicating a shift towards digital channels in the near future.

Ready to buy
Google Gearshift 2020

When purchasing a car online, consumers are looking for convenient delivery options and test drives are still an important factor before committing to buying a vehicle.

Ready to buy
Google Gearshift 2020


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