UK car dealers can now present more pictures of their stock to the country’s car buyers thanks to a new solution from Motors.co.uk.
The new offering allows Motors.co.uk dealers to add up to 25 pictures for each of their adverts, giving consumers a wider selection of images to help them make the right choice when they search for their next car on the website.
This solution follows best practice advice from Autotrader.com, a Cox Automotive sister company, which found that its customers saw an 18 per cent rise in new and used car sales when they added an average of 25 images to their car adverts.*
Dermot Kelleher, Director of Marketing and Business Intelligence at Motors.co.uk, said: “We are committed to providing dealers with market leading solutions and the tools they need to successfully communicate with the country’s car buyers.
“By launching 25 Images we are following best practice guidelines, as demonstrated by our sister company AutoTrader.com, giving consumers access to a clear visual understanding of what they’re investing in, as well as the option to read about all of a car’s specifications. The new 25 Images solution gives dealers the chance to further profile each of their cars and ensure their potential customers have the detail they need ahead of making a purchase.”
Nearly three quarters of consumers use three or more search websites when looking for their next car, says Motors.co.uk
The majority of UK car buyers are using several services to find their next car, according to new consumer research from Motors.co.uk. The company’s recent Car Buyer Survey 2016 revealed that nearly three quarters of consumers (72 per cent) used three or more car search websites to find their next car. When asked how many car search websites they used to find their current car, 52 per cent of respondents said between three and five and 20 per cent said they had used more than six, while less than a third (28.4 per cent) visited fewer than three websites before making their choice. The survey revealed that 74 per cent of respondents used multiple car search sites to ensure they had seen all the available cars matching their requirements in their local area. Consumers are also using multiple sites to compare prices elsewhere in the country, with 47 per cent of respondents admitting they use car search websites to find vehicles outside of their local area. The survey, which examined consumer attitudes to online car shopping, also found that 70 per cent of consumers would consider buying either new or used cars, further demonstrating the blurring of the lines between traditional new and used car buyers, a trend influenced by changing attitudes to car finance. Dermot Kelleher, Director of Marketing & Business Intelligence at Motors.co.uk, said: “This data overwhelmingly shows the importance of dealers having a presence across multiple car search websites. Each engagement with a dealer’s brand or stock will compound to help their decision making. “Thanks to our network partnerships with trusted and well-known sites such as Parkers.co.uk, Motoring.co.uk and RAC Cars, amongst many others, we are able to offer dealers the ability to put their vehicles in front of consumers at multiple touchpoints. “Our network offers dealers a gateway to the internet, with a variety of media brands targeted at different consumers, ensuring their vehicles are visible to millions of car buyers. “We encourage dealers to think about their advertising across the value chain. It is incredibly important to generate the initial exposure through multiple websites. “But it is also important that other elements, such as presentation, pricing and a fantastic sales experience, create a great customer experience with the dealer’s brand at every stage of the buying process – not just when consumers walk into the dealership.”
UK car buyers do not believe the country’s decision to leave the European Union has affected when they will make their next purchase, according to new consumer research from Motors.co.uk. In the car search website’s 2016 Car Buyer Survey, three per cent of people said they have been discouraged from buying a car due to the referendum result in June. When asked if they had been discouraged from buying a car following the country’s vote to leave the EU, just three per cent of respondents agreed. The survey also found that one in 10 people believe the referendum result has affected the timing of when they will buy their next car, and only four per cent of respondents said they are worried about making their car finance payments following the result. “Understandably, there has been a lot of speculation about how June’s referendum result will affect the UK economy, and the automotive industry has been no exception. However, we are delighted to see that the prospect of Britain leaving the EU has not hindered the nation’s attitude to buying cars and this is great news for our dealers”, commented Dermot Kelleher, Director of Marketing & Business Intelligence at Motors.co.uk. He added: “The survey has underlined that consumers are primarily looking for value for their money and are ready to make a purchase if it’s a good deal for them. At Motors.co.uk we have developed our website to give consumers the choice they need to make the right decision for them, and we will continue to work closely with our dealers to provide them with the insights they need about their potential customers.”
As UK drivers enjoy a drop in fuel prices at the pumps, there’s been a subtle change to the nation’s car shopping habits. While monthly expenditure on fuel is falling, data from Motors.co.uk shows an increase in vehicle searches by monthly payment – with a 78% rise in searches by a monthly payment amount of £0-£300. And, with manufacturers offering countless deals for new cars within this price range, the reduced monthly spend on fuel is freeing up cash for consumers to upgrade their vehicle selection. From November 2015 to February 2016, total searches by monthly payment increased by 97% against an overall rise in visits to Motors.co.uk of 61%. This is according to data from the Motors.co.uk Smart Search functionality, which enables shoppers to search for vehicles based on the lifestyle criteria that matters to them. Peter Watts, director of dealer insight at Motors.co.uk, explains: “Over the past few months, we’ve seen fuel prices reach their lowest since 2009, with supermarkets slashing their prices to below £1 a litre. To put this into context, at its highest price point, we were paying over £1.42 a litre in April 2012 – that’s a saving of just over £25 for a 60 litre tank each time it’s filled up. Consumers are therefore making a significant saving each time they visit the pumps and, in some cases, this is freeing funds for spending elsewhere, such as on updating vehicles. “This is good news for dealerships, with sales teams able to work closely with customers in order to present the most appropriate finance solution for their circumstances. In some cases, this may mean being able to reallocate the saved fuel costs to trade up a price bracket. Add in more fuel efficient models and the fuel cost reduction could be even more compelling. “However, we must be mindful that the economic situation with regards to fuel is not a stable one and the drop in fuel prices is beginning to slow. Despite the Chancellor announcing a continued freeze in fuel duty in his recent budget, as oil prices steady slightly we could see an increase in fuel costs sooner rather than later. Dealers need to be quick to adapt and offer consumers advice on the finance and model options available to them and how this will impact their monthly and overall costs, regardless of the direction in which the economy may shift.”
To help increase sales and drive traffic to a dealership, understanding what makes car buyers tick and the route they take before making a purchase is vital. To achieve this, Motors.co.uk has released its latest insight into the consumer car buying journey. The findings from Motors.co.uk show that the most important source of research for consumers looking for a new or used vehicle is car search websites, followed by car review websites. Car dealership websites were ranked closely behind in third place. Recommendations are still a significant influencer on the car buying process, with over a quarter (28%) of people turning to friends and family for information. This reaffirms the importance of continued good customer service at a dealership, as word of mouth is still a powerful tool. Social media is another area not to overlook; with 11% of consumers using this channel to research their next car purchase, it links closely to dealer reputation. Previous insight from Motors.co.uk showed that 36% of people said whether they had heard of the dealer and whether it had been recommended by other car buyers was important – so for many, experiences and opinions shared on social media and through online reviews could be the deciding factor in a sale. Such insight highlights the importance of aligning the offline and online experience for consumers. Peter Watts, director of dealer insight at Motors.co.uk, explains: “Our data reaffirms that consumers will have conducted extensive research before they set foot in a dealership, so a dealer needs to bear this in mind when speaking to a customer in person. For all retailers, it is important to listen to the demands of their customer base and this will lead to an increase in trust and excellent customer service. “Interestingly, two of the UK’s top three ranked businesses for service in the recent report from the Institute of Customer Service are online organisations, Amazon and First Direct, with John Lewis knocked off the top spot and out of the top three for the first time in seven years. This demonstrates the power of online businesses and how consumers are valuing excellent customer service despite not having face-to-face contact with a brand. For the motor industry, which is operating both on and offline, this reiterates the importance of ensuring customers have a consistent, smooth transition between the two channels. “Reputation remains key and dealers who can align different elements of the consumer car buying journey and leave customers feeling happy and secure with their service will take the lead.”
Everyone would appreciate a crystal ball to provide an insight into the future, and the motor industry is no exception. Understanding how and where different types of car buyer will be shopping this year, and how to convert those not visiting dealerships into sales, is a top priority all round. Research from Motors.co.uk shows there is still a clear gender and generational divide among shoppers at dealerships, as traditional consumer perceptions of the industry remain. The latest insight from Motors.co.uk shows that, while the majority of car buyers consider using an independent (54%) or franchised dealership (50%), over a third (34%) would consider purchasing from a private seller. Interestingly, it’s men who are more likely to purchase a car from a franchised dealership. Women are more likely to buy from a private seller (39%) compared to men (30%), or an independent car dealership, 57% compared to 52% of men. Car buying is also a generational game. Those aged 35-54 are more likely to buy from an independent car dealership than any other source, while almost half (49%) of younger buyers, those aged 18-34, are willing to consider buying from a private seller. In fact, 18-34 year olds are almost twice as likely than those aged 45-54 (14% compared to 26%) to go down the private seller route. This research shows that there is a continued need to attract more women and younger buyers into dealerships and this will mean overcoming existing perceptions. Peter Watts, director of dealer insight at Motors.co.uk, said: “These findings reaffirm that many younger and female buyers still feel that dealerships can be daunting places which are the domain of older males experienced in purchasing cars. A sales team that reflects and can relate to its existing and growing consumer base across all demographics, along with targeted marketing activity, will help to alleviate these anxieties and dispel the myths associated with the showroom environment. “Our younger generation is going to be buying cars for years to come, so that first point of contact on the forecourt or in the showroom to the growing number of independent female consumers and younger millennials needs skills aligned to the way they research and shop online.” Watts added: “We would all like to see a greater number of buyers perusing forecourts and completing sales and there is a clear opportunity to make this a reality if we appeal more to female and young buyers.” Motors.co.uk carried out this research with more than 700 consumers across the UK to uncover the reasons behind their car buying decisions.
While price and choice remain the key considerations when it comes to consumer car buying decisions, the four ‘Rs’ of reputation, relationships, recommendations and rapport are still important. That’s the finding from the latest research from Motors.co.uk, which explores the buying habits of UK drivers. The research shows almost a third (30%) of consumers said having confidence in the dealer influenced them a great deal when making the decision where to buy their car from. In support of this, 36% of respondents said whether they had heard of the dealer and whether it had been recommended by other car buyers was important, and almost a fifth (18%) said whether they had a good rapport with the dealer was important. When asked what was the most desired improvement to the car buying experience, if you take the most obvious answer of price (17%) and choice (16%) out of the equation, honesty and confidence in the salesperson (15%) and improved customer service (12%) come out as the next most important factors. Peter Watts, director of dealer insight at Motors.co.uk, said: “Our research indicates that, on initial contact with the dealer, the consumer has already decided after hours of research that the vehicle they have selected will fit their lifestyle and financial requirements. Therefore, dealers can benefit by switching their focus to helping the customer validate their decision using soft skills in order to cement the sale. “Quick and simple measures, such as ensuring the timings for test drives suit the customer’s personal and work schedule and delivering an aligned online / offline experience, will further strengthen the consumer’s confidence in the salesperson, which helps to assist a more enjoyable purchasing journey.” Watts continued: “These findings highlight the importance of aligning the basics around price and choice with softer skills, making sure everyone within a dealership who is responsible for sales is also focused on delivering the very best customer service. The benefits of building a strong reputation should not be overlooked and securing solid customer recommendations is still key.” The research by Motors.co.uk was carried out with more than 700 consumers across the UK.
The latest research from Motors.co.uk shows that the traditional differences between new and used car buyers are being eroded. Whereas second-hand cars used to be the preserve of first-time drivers and those on constrained budgets, the growth in new car deals and monthly payment offers has blurred the lines. The research, carried out with more than 700 consumers across the UK, delved into the reasons behind buying decisions. Of those consumers who bought a new car, over a third (34%) of respondents chose new over used because of cheaper running costs and a quarter (25%) because of the headline discount offered. It shows that manufacturer marketing and dealer offers are working; consumers are buying into the affordability of new cars. When it comes to used car buyers, nearly two thirds (60%) would be influenced into buying a new car if there was a significant discount on the headline price. Of new car buyers, over a third (35%) were considering a used car, which highlights the scope for improving communication on used car portfolios when at the forecourt. This insight shows that if a dealer wants the buyer at their forecourt to consider both the new and used stock, then they need to communicate the running costs of all vehicles concisely and the discounts and finance packages available on used cars. Peter Watts, director of dealer insight at Motors.co.uk, said: “Our latest research gives us some important insight into the reasons behind current consumer buying trends. We all know that sales of new cars are on the rise but it’s important to understand the specific reasons behind these purchases if the end goal is to sell a mixed portfolio of new and used. “The franchised dealer needs to ensure they have the ideal used stock and availability of new inventory to capture the consumer’s enquiry and deliver on their requests. In addition, it is important to understand the need to be flexible around the delivery expectations of the customer and ensuring that stock positioning maximises the profit opportunity. “This time of year can be particularly challenging for forecourts as consumers focus on bad weather, so these findings are timely for helping to maximise sales across both new and used cars.”
Motors.co.uk has revealed the most searched and sold cars across its network in 2015. In a move designed to support dealers planning their stocking policies for next year, Motors.co.uk has shared the top 10 vehicles clicked on and sold in each of seven key body style categories: 4x4, convertible, coupe, estate, hatchback, people carrier and saloon. While Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Ford and Vauxhall topped the charts across the various segments in terms of sales, the search results were a little more open. Here, MG, Bugatti, Alfa Romeo, Honda, Mayback, Mercedes-Benz and SEAT all took the top honours. Unsurprisingly, the data on searches also revealed a much wider range of models within the manufacturer categories. Dermot Kelleher, director of marketing and business intelligence at Motors.co.uk, commented: “Clearly, we would expect to see the mainstream manufacturers represented across both sales and searches. However, it was interesting to see some of the difference in how people search for cars and what they ultimately buy. For example, while no one would be surprised to see Mercedes-Benz top the sale list for both convertibles and coupes, SLK and C Class respectively, the search results features the MG MGTF and the Bugatti Veyron – a lot further out of most peoples’ price range. “This kind of data can be really useful for dealers when it comes to pulling together their stocking policies for the next 12 months. Understanding what consumers are searching for and what they ultimately spend their money on can help to inform which vehicles should be on the forecourts and, also, which models are likely to draw attention from which you can then move on to sell something else.” Alongside releasing data on the most popular cars in 2015, Motors.co.uk has also confirmed that 2014/15 is the third consecutive Christmas in which mobile searches boosted traffic to its website. While vehicles searches tend to drop off around 23rd December, the Motors.co.uk data suggests that they jump back up again in time for the Queen’s Speech at 3pm on Christmas Day before accelerating further on Boxing Day. Kelleher adds: “We are a nation of gadget addicts and historically we have seen a huge increase in searches, especially from tablets and mobile devices, over the Christmas period. While dealer forecourts may be traditionally quiet during the festive season, the evidence clearly shows that there is plenty of demand out there for consumers looking to swop their car for 2016. With that in mind, the days between Christmas and New Year could be a retail goldmine for ‘switched-on’ dealers with a festive digital marketing plan.” To support dealers over the festive period, Motors.co.uk will have a strong advertising presence within Premier League football on Saturday 26th and Monday 28th December. Games in which the Motors.co.uk Smart Finger ads will feature include Manchester United vs. Chelsea and Leicester City vs. Manchester City. For more information, visit www.motors.co.uk. The Motors.co.uk most-sold cars in 2015
|Land Rover||Freelander||Mercedes-Benz||SLK||Mercedes-Benz||C Class|
|Land Rover||Range Rover Sport||MINI||Convertible||Audi||TT|
|Land Rover||Discovery||BMW||3 Series||Vauxhall||Astra GTC|
|Land Rover||Range Rover Evoque||Peugeot||207||Mercedes-Benz||E Class|
|Toyota||RAV4||BMW||1 Series||BMW||1 Series|
|Land Rover||Range Rover||Fiat||500||Renault||Megane|
|BMW||3 Series||Fiat||500||Citroen||C4 Picasso|
|Mercedes-Benz||C Class||Volkswagen||Polo||Citroen||C3 Picasso|
|Land Rover||Discovery 3||Mercedes-Benz||CLK||Ferrari||348|
|Mitsubishi||Shogun Sport||BMW||6 Series||Alfa Romeo||GT|
|Land Rover||Defender||Mercedes-Benz||SL Class||Ferrari||550|
|Peugeot||Partner Tepee||Toyota||Urbancruiser||Renault||Grand Scenic|
|Audi||A6 Allroad||Mazda||6||Ford||Focus C-MAX|
All car buyers want for Christmas is a German car, according to Christmas wish list survey results from Motors.co.uk. A poll held by Motors.co.uk revealed that 28.3% of people want a German car, with 8.9% of respondents hoping for an Audi delivery this year from Santa, and the same number electing for BMW. Mercedes-Benz secured 6.2% of the poll and Volkswagen also featured in the top ten, with 4.3% of the votes, despite the autumn emissions scandal. British brands also performed well, at 18.1% overall, with Land Rover (8.8%), Jaguar (5.3%) and Aston Martin (4.1%) all making the Christmas wish list. The top ten was completed by Ford (8.8%), Nissan (3.6%) and Porsche (3.3%). The most-wanted individual model this Christmas was the Range Rover, including Sport, Evoque and Vogue (5.8%), followed by the Porsche 911 (1.8%), Volkswagen Golf (1.8%), Ford Focus (1.8%) and Ford Fiesta (1.6%). Dermot Kelleher, director of marketing and business intelligence at Motors.co.uk, commented: “While the popularity of Land Rover may be down to the usual winter trends, the unseasonably warm weather means that other factors may also have played a part. For example, the high brand visibility for Land Rover across both the Rugby World Cup and the recent launch of Spectre, the latest in the James Bond franchise, may also have contributed to the increase in searches.” For the second consecutive year, the Batmobile was featured on the Santa wish list, which also saw requests for a Rolls Royce Silver Ghost, Aston Martin DB10, AC Cobra, McLaren F1, MG MGA, Hillman Imp and a snowmobile. A number of Ferrari and Lamborghini models also made regular appearances while the alternatively-fuelled section was represented by requests for a Tesla Model S. Kelleher continued: “What’s interesting about this kind of research is that, even when you put a ‘money no object’ opportunity in front of consumers, many people will still go for more conventional choices, like the Dacia Duster, Citroën C1, Ford Fiesta and Kia Cee’d. “There is a serious lesson here for dealers as well. The key placing of Audi, BMW and Land Rover shows that the premium brands continue to appeal to the consumer. German and British models also remain front of mind with UK consumers. And, VW’s brand image doesn’t seem to have been dented too significantly by recent emissions woes. “As we enter 2016, dealers need to fill their forecourts with the right stock to meet consumer demand. While our Santa wish list is good fun, we’d encourage our dealers to make use of the retail demand data we provide in The Eye (Motors.co.uk’s response reporting tool) and in our ‘What’s Hot?’ section in order to complement their own market intelligence and inform their stocking policies.” In terms of most desired technology, 46% put parking cameras and sensors at the top of their wish list. This was followed by DAB radio (19.8%), Sat-Nav (19.3%), hands-free or Bluetooth (9.7%) and USB ports (5.2%). Kelleher concludes: “The results of this poll show that the convenience of navigation, entertainment and safety clearly outweigh connectivity in transit.” For more information on Motors.co.uk’s Smart Search, please visit www.motors.co.uk.