An offline study by Nielsen on behalf of Google India at car showrooms of leading car makers in top eight metros revealed that one in two car buyers had conducted research online before arriving at the dealership. India boasts of over 120 million Internet users and it is playing a major role in influencing the decision making of India’s growing number of car buyers gradually. The survey revealed that among those who had researched their purchase online, over 50% changed their choice of car brands after discovering new information on the web.
The study highlights how the Internet influences the purchasing decisions of car buyers in India and respondents stated that they used the web to research and compare prices, watch online videos and find images, do competitive analysis, find dealer contacts and read both expert and user reviews. Most car buyers rated Original Equipment Manufacturers’ (OEMs) website as most trustworthy source of information. Of the 50% respondents who went online, 42% said that they used search engine as the first source of information, just behind the opinions collected from friends and relatives (47%).
Research is helpful
Commenting on the study’s findings, Rajan Anandan, vice president and managing director of Google India, said, “This offline study substantiates the growing number of auto-related searches we have seen on Google search in India. Auto is among the fastest growing vertical in terms of query volumes on Google. Most OEMs have not yet tapped the full potential of the digital medium and we hope this study will help them to understand and engage the Indian consumer online.”
According to Aniban Majumdar, a Kolkata based independent auto consultant, “Before purchasing cars, a lot of time goes into researching. Nowadays buyers have the option of getting first-hand information on the Internet, which is proving to be tremendously helpful for many.”
On an average, car buyers spend 9-12 weeks researching before arriving at their final decision, and of those who turned to the web for assistance over 90% of shoppers used a search engine to learn more about the cars they were interested in buying. Over 56% car buyers choose 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.
Priyanka Roy Chowdhury