How customers perceive the service offered to them by a company can be deeply reflected in the growth and overall success of the enterprise. For a car dealer, it may seem almost impossible to decipher the code of the needs of a newer generation of people. Especially with the rise in the use of technology and never-ending expectations, both used car dealers and unused have to push through the challenges and competition to determine the top attributes people honestly seek in their car-buying journey. 

With car shoppers visiting an average of 1.6 dealerships throughout their buying journey, it is crucial for car dealers to know the right information to give these car buyers during their online research process to ensure that car buyers choose their dealership over their competitors. Having access to data concerning what people are actively looking throughout their buying journey makes it easier to provide the answers to what consumers are looking for. Read on to know some attributes people search for during their car-buying journey.


Having done some research, Car buyers looking to buy either new or second-hand cars are stepping into dealerships with a lot of information than they have handled before. This shows that they want to validate info they found online and prefer working with sales professionals who are capable of consulting rather than hard selling. Car shoppers want an experience that demonstrates an act of equality and honesty where sellers work with them and treat their purchase process with interest in a bid to find the most suitable option for them. Sales reps should allow customers to direct every step and consider other factors like family condition, budget, lifestyle and their overall preferences.


According to cox automotive 2018 car buyer journey report, car shoppers are among the least satisfied people with pricing. This has made many customers regret the final pricing decision they made on a vehicle. This development has further created a level of distrust among buyers towards dealers. Studies have even shown that over 56% of consumers prefer negotiating over flat-rate pricing as a result of the level of distrust so they feel they have to negotiate to avoid being cheated or get a reasonable price.

Car buyers prefer a more transparent pricing process that informs them of the situation of the market. Some car dealerships have recognised this pattern and taken advantage of it by installing no-haggle pricing which is determined by the current market value of the vehicle. There are available online car loans that help facilitate a car buyer’s journey.


Studies have shown that Car buyers are more interested in features. In order to grasp this increase in feature related interest, it is of great importance to understand the consumer’s pattern of search behaviour. According to Google, only about 20% of car shoppers begin their research online with the brand they eventually decide to purchase. Which means consumers engage in a constant state of cross-shopping, narrowing down options down to models, brands till they get to the one that best suits them. This process of cross-shopping is centred on discovering differences between models and brands. These differences encompass one major thing- features. Google reports show that feature-related searches have gone up in the previous year-  23% for a backup camera, 15% for truck space and 30% for towing capacity. When car buyers do an online search for a new vehicle, they do not just look at cars, their main interest lies in the car features. Car features make a huge difference otherwise if people were just shopping for a car, any vehicle with an engine and four wheels would pass for it. 


The needs of this newer generation of car buyers are also centred around flexibility and effectiveness in their car dealings. One method car dealers can adopt is the use of technology to hasten the buying process. For instance, using an iPad showing the car’s pricing, mileage, history, and feature data. This can be displayed within and outside the showroom to give auto consumers that consulting experience they are searching for. The use of technology can also play a role in comparing competitor pricing and identifying offers with limited time for specific cars. The main aim should be to provide enough information for car buyers to make an informed buying decision.


Regarding car service, 83% of Car buyers revealed their interest in the ability to access a network of local service stations that honour service agreements. Some consumers indicate their need to go to a service station close by, others prefer being able to service their vehicle anywhere. All these can be traced back to the fact that consumers are looking for convenience. Someone looking to get transmission repairs for their car would rather not travel halfway around town to get to a service centre. So the ability to access service centres alongside budget tyres or cheap tyres should be provided to the consumers to ease their buying journey.


Autotrader reports have shown that car buyers spend about 59% of their time carrying out online research on the type of car they want. This takes place before they step into any car dealership. This newer generation of car buyers are more informed and prepared than before. So, it’s crucial for car dealers to make their website pages easy to navigate and also to be as informative as possible. There should be a lead form or chatbot where potential car buyers can get in touch with a sales rep. 

In addition, it is also of importance for car dealers to ensure their website pages are providing the specific data on VIN-specific features that car buyers are searching for. To stand out in the auto industry, you have to be the car dealer that ensures the right information is displayed in the fastest and most intuitive way.

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *