Survey Shows Word-of-Mouth Has Say in Used-Car Sales

Auto Trader research shows 30% of survey respondents bought a car in 2014 based on dealer reviews or recommendations by family and friends.

Paul Myles, European Editor

August 9, 2016

1 Min Read
Transparency key to luring customers to dealer websites survey shows
Transparency key to luring customers to dealer websites, survey shows.

LONDON – Positive customer reviews are driving nearly a third of U.K. used-car dealership sales, according to a recent survey.

Auto Trader’s Annual Car Buying Research shows 30% of respondents bought a car in 2014 based on dealer reviews or recommendations by family and friends. This amounts to more than 2 million cars sold that year in the U.K., the report claims.

The research also shows automakers’ websites fared better in customer trust ratings than car supermarkets’ “Stack ʼem high, sell ʼem cheap” approach.

Of the 8,000 consumers quizzed over how trustworthy a car retailer’s web information appeared, 31% replied positively to manufacturers’ websites while only 20% felt the same about those of supermarkets.

“Building trust is one of the most important tasks of a retailer’s website, and transparency is the number one driver of trust,” says Nick King, insight director-Auto Trader. “Trust leads to more sales with better margins and increases customer retention.

“The addition of dealer reviews provided by consumers is one of the best ways to deliver that transparency.”

The industry did not fare as well in Auto Trader’s Digital Excellence Index that examines automotive websites’ performance compared with retail sectors including finance, property and transport. The survey, based on 32,000 reviews across 10 different sectors, ranked automotive seventh behind top performers Amazon and ASOS, a fashion- and beauty-products retailer.

An analysis of the consumers’ responses shows one of the key elements of a website that helps provide transparency and build trust is how easy consumers believe dealing with the organization will be.

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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