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.
Motors.co.uk is celebrating again after signing a new partnership with Auto Clubs International (ACI) as part of the ongoing expansion of its network. Vehicles from dealers advertising with Motors.co.uk began appearing on ACI’s network of websites from October, which helps to further expand the reach of vehicle adverts within the Motors.co.uk network to over 3.5 million monthly unique visitors*. Some of the key websites include petrol-head favourites fordownersclub.com and jaguarownersclub.com. Daniela Menzky, chief executive at ACI, said: “We’re excited to partner with such a forward-thinking and innovative business as Motors.co.uk. This is a major move for our network of online platforms for car owners and enthusiasts and we believe it will allow our members to have quick and easy access to some of the best matched cars on the market.” Phill Jones, managing director at Motors.co.uk, added: “We are excited to work with Daniela and the team at ACI. They are experts in creating highly engaged online communities, passionate about car ownership. We are proud to be able to present this knowledgeable audience with our depth of stock and search tools. This expansion shows our ongoing commitment to help advertisers sell the smart way and put their stock in front of consumers at every stage of the search process.” The past few months has seen Motors.co.uk greatly expand its network with major partnerships with Carfused.com, (part of Confused.com) and Motoring.co.uk. The Motors.co.uk Network also includes: Sunday Times Driving, Parkers, HonestJohn, Carsite Network, Desperate Seller, Drive24, and more than 300 regional newspapers and classified sites. The ACI network includes sites such as:
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.
Motors.co.uk has once again affirmed its commitment to delivering high value leads to its dealer partners after signing a new agreement with the world’s biggest sports radio station, talkSPORT. The new advert which features a voiceover from comedy legend Peter Serafinowicz, a favourite from the successful ‘Smart Finger’ TV advert series, went live on air this week (from Monday 18 January). The six month sponsorship of talkSPORT’s traffic and travel bulletins will see the car search giant take significant air time, with a massive 156 peak listening slots every week. This will help increase brand awareness among listeners, who comprise a significant number of in-market car buyers. With a selection of content playing on rotation, the calls to action will include: ‘Reduced Cars’, ‘Smart Search’, ‘Sell your car for free’, ‘Search by Monthly Payment’ and ‘Email Alerts’, all of which last around ten seconds. Plus, an additional 30 second full length advert promoting Motors.co.uk’s innovative car search and expansive network will be played during the period across peak daytime shows. Dermot Kelleher, director of marketing and business intelligence at Motors.co.uk, said: “We’re excited to be able to provide dealers with even greater exposure to in-market car buyers through our partnership with talkSPORT to deliver our newest campaign. The series of radio adverts will work cohesively alongside our current TV campaign to further improve brand awareness and promote the Motors.co.uk products and services among our core demographic, adding value to our dealer network by attracting even more highly qualified leads.” Adam Mills, sales director at talkSPORT, said: “This is a great partnership for talkSPORT, as we are the ideal station for reaching new car buyers – 11% of all new car purchasers in the past year were talkSPORT listeners, and one in five people tuning into the station say they’re looking to buy a car in the next twelve months. Because talkSPORT reaches a high number of people who are dedicated to sport, they really engage with our advertisers too.” To hear the new advert listen in today on DAB search for talkSPORT, or live online at: http://talksport.com/radio/how-to-listen
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.
Motors.co.uk, the destination for smart car search, has announced a new partnership with Motoring.co.uk, as part of the ongoing expansion of its advertising network. Motoring.co.uk provides a wide array of car buying and ownership tools which help to make motoring easier for its 2.1 million registered users. The new partnership will see Motors.co.uk provide the vehicles in the used car section on Motoring.co.uk from January 2016, one of the busiest months of the year for car searches. Current Motors.co.uk advertisers who are live on the Motors.co.uk Network will benefit from this additional reach at no extra cost. Terry Hogan, co-founder at Motoring.co.uk, said: “We’ve had a fantastic year and the partnership with Motors.co.uk is a key part of our commitment to providing the best experience for our users, throughout their car buying and owning lifecycle.” He added: “Motors.co.uk’s level of inventory means we can deliver a more comprehensive search experience for visitors to our site, while focusing our internal efforts on enhancing our data and creating a unique, personalised experience. We’re looking forward to an exciting new year.” Phill Jones, managing director at Motors.co.uk, continued: “We’re delighted to be partnering with a business with such strong automotive knowledge and an engaged audience. This latest expansion shows our ongoing commitment to help advertisers sell the smart way, by putting their stock in front of consumers at every stage of the search process and generating high quality, great value response.” The past year has seen Motors.co.uk greatly expand its network, with major signings with Carfused.com and Sun Motors. Its network also includes: Sunday Times Driving, Parkers, HonestJohn, Carsite Network, Autovillage, Desperate Seller, Drive24, Carvillage and more than 300 regional newspapers and classified sites.
Following the launch of its first-to-market monthly payment search tool earlier this year, Motors.co.uk has identified that the majority of car buyers are looking to pay around £200 per month for their next car. While the level of deposit chosen by consumers varied in the study (from £0 to £1,000), almost one fifth (19%) of consumers chose £200 as their preferred monthly contribution, with a further 16% wanting to pay £150 per month. The monthly payment search tool enables drivers to find cars on the basis of their monthly cost and has been supported by a major TV campaign which launched in August. The creative introduced a new Motors.co.uk character, Miss Smart Finger, and mirrored the consumer experience of using the monthly payment search function by showing the benefit of finding a nicer car than expected. The ad has now been shown more than three thousand times and seen over 80 million times. Phill Jones, managing director of Motors.co.uk, commented: “While some consumers are still interested in the headline price of their next car, a growing number are taking a lead from the technology companies and considering the monthly impact of changing vehicle on their disposable income. Indeed, with platforms like Spotify and Netflix changing the way in which consumers think about paying for products, we believe there is a clear opportunity for dealers to increase their promotional emphasis on monthly payment.” More than three quarters of consumers now use dealer-sourced finance to purchase their new car1, and PCP deals on used cars are also increasing. This is a trend which has not gone unnoticed by manufacturers, with the majority capitalising on competitive finance deals by focusing on monthly repayments in their advertising. In fact, according to research by Motors.co.uk, 57% of OEMs lead with finance offers in their online creative2. Looking at the figures in more detail, more than half (53%) of consumers to date have searched for vehicles with a £0 deposit contribution, while one in ten (11%) were looking for a contribution of just £500. Almost a fifth (17%) of users were happy to contribute £1,000 as a deposit on their next vehicle. While the most popular (34%) monthly payment option of ‘any’ shows consumers are willing to see what’s on the market, almost one fifth (19%) of searchers thought £200 was an appropriate monthly payment. A total of 16% chose £150, while 12% were looking for cars at the £100 level. Jones added: “It is still early days for the search by payment functionality, but the figures clearly show that there is strong demand from consumers looking to find the best car for their monthly budget. For dealers, the message is to provide choices at all ends of the financial spectrum. The data shows that deposits of up to £1,000 and monthly payments of up to £200 prove the most popular, but there is still a wide variation in individual customer requirements.” The Motors.co.uk monthly payment search technology is powered by iVendi, which provides dealers with an easy set of tools to control their rates and the ability to upgrade to receive qualified finance applications.
- Figure from the Finance and Leasing Association
- Review of 21 manufacturer websites, October 2015
- Figures based on data from stock advertised by car dealers on Motors.co.uk