Average number of forecourt visits fall from 4.4 to 2.2, from 2010 – 2014.
- Single site visit is increasingly the norm: buyers arrive following decisions made online
- Steps to reduce ‘market friction’ in the online space are key to bringing more buyers and sellers together, says Auto Trader
The number of visits made by car buyers to retailer forecourts could have fallen by as many as 15 million in the last four years. That means 15 million fewer opportunities to engage with customers in showrooms every year and more buyers arriving on site having already made a decision online about which car to buy. It’s a trend that is likely to continue in the years ahead, Auto Trader asserts today.
In 2010 buyers visited 4.4 physical sites en route to their next car. Last year, the average was just 2.2, according to figures taken from the Annual Buyer Behaviour Survey undertaken for Auto Trader by GfK1. With roughly seven million used car transactions in both 2010 and in 2014 this translates to a drop from 31 million forecourt visits in 2010 to 15.4 million last year.
The numbers contrast with www.autotrader.co.uk visits which have more than doubled. There are now around 40 million each month compared with 17 million in 2010. Trade solutions director at Auto Trader, Tim Peake says: “that as more and more buyers move online, taking steps to reduce ‘friction’ in the marketplace is key to bringing buyers and sellers together.
“Today consumers operate online because they feel more in control,” he continues, “by the time they make the journey to a physical forecourt, most will have researched extensively: they will know exactly what car they want, and a lot about the retailer from which they wish to buy.
“Of course retailers have to think and lead online, but as the country’s largest online marketplace we have to take steps to smooth the journey too. An important recent step forward has been the launch of our consumer valuations’ tool which is now being used to make a million valuations every month.
“What we have done is to simplify what consumers were already doing onsite with a tool powered by comprehensive retail price data. There’s no longer any need to find equivalent models on site and make a best guesstimate of a car’s part exchange or retail value. Now they can arrive at an informed valuation that then forms the basis of a more constructive discussion with a retailer.
“Given the availability of information to consumers online, the competitiveness of the market and dynamism of retail pricing, live market data has to be the starting point for consumer valuations, but also for our dealers in powering products like Auto Trader i-Control.”
Auto Trader is looking at other areas to smooth the consumer online journey and connect buyers and sellers effortlessly. These include vehicle provenance checks, finance support and insurance partnerships
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