When in doubt about what car to buy, according to research on eBay motors, nine out of ten people turn to Facebook before auto magazines or online auto sites. Asking friends about the vehicles they love most is the first place most shoppers go these days.
“It has become increasingly important for dealers to ensure that they are reaching consumers when, where and how they want to shop for vehicles– which today, more than ever, means online and on mobile,” said Kristine Chin, head of motors at eBay Motors.
Key findings of the eBay study include:
- A full 94% of Millennial car buyers gather information online;
- More than a third use mobile devices to do that research, compared to 19% of older car shoppers;
- Only 13% of Millennials see visiting a dealership as their preferred method of shopping, while 25% of non-Millennials prefer to go to a showroom.
The study, based on responses from over 1,000 U.S. adults, also found people far more comfortable using portable devices, such as tablet computers, when researching their purchase. In fact, one out of five of these young motorists would be just fine with handling the entire purchase process on a mobile device, according to eBay Motors.
And that’s backed up by the Automotive Social Media and Reputation Trend Study which finds that among U.S. buyers overall, 81% are now looking at reviews to help choose the right car or truck, a figure that has grown substantially in just the past six months. The study, by a research firm called Digital Air Strike, named Cars.com, Edmunds.com and Yahoo! among the most influential sources of reviews. But it also pointed to social media outlets including Facebook, Yelp and Google Plus.
A full 24% of those surveyed indicated online reviews are the single “most helpful” factor in the final choice of a vehicle. The study by Digital Air Strike also noted, “There is a 59% probability that a consumer will trust a review from a Facebook friend more than reviews on other sites.”
Meanwhile, the survey of 2,000 shoppers found that 43% will use Facebook to help them choose a local dealership.
While there has been a lot of debate about the effectiveness of Facebook advertising, the Automotive Social Media study found that clicks on dealership ads jumped from 16% to 39% between October 2012 and April of this year.