Report: 50% car buyers research online before buying

Google India has released report of a survey, conducted jointly with A C Neilsen and an interesting finding of the survey is that one out of every two buyers have conducted research online before approaching the car dealer.

The offline survey was conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Google India at various car showrooms (234 dealership across NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmedabad and Kochi.) in the top eight metros in India and had a sample size of 2,791 respondents (93 % males, 75% in the age group of 25-44).

The survey findings include:

– Car buyers, on an average spend around 9-12 weeks in researching before arriving at their final decision on a car.

– Car buyers rated Internet more important than TV or print media (just 2% and 9% respectively) for auto related content.

– 56% buyers also chose to watch videos online as part of their research, with over 48% rating YouTube as the destination and a important source of information on the Internet.

– More than half of those who did online research said that the information available on the Internet prompted them to change the choice of car brands before they finally bought those.

– 72% of online users trusted the websites of car makers the most.

– 42% preferred ‘search engine’ just behind the opinions of friends and relatives” at 47%, for auto-related content.

The last point, i.e. social networks (offline and online) vs. search debate is probably the most alarming fact for Google, as social networks (to be more specific, Facebook) are being more used for recommendations (from friends and relatives), as opposed to search engines who are often spammed with SEOed links (categories like travel and auto are the most abused).

What’s your take on the report?

Aside, before you trust any survey report, we recommend you to read Why and how to read survey reports? [Data, Intuition and Truth].

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