India and Kantar have released the findings of the ‘Auto Gear Shift India 2020’
report that captures the digital influence on Indian automobile buyers and the
opportunities for the industries.
Focusing on the change in consumer journey of
new car buyers, two-wheeler buyers, and used car buyers and sellers in India,
the comprehensive study captures consumer behaviors across a wide variety of
segments like hatchback, sedan, SUV, scooters, entry bikes, deluxe bikes,
premium bikes and used cars with inputs from unorganised dealers and organised
report calls out the digital transformation that is underway in the Auto
industry, as the consumer purchase journey is changing across the country. With
the consumer placing a much higher importance on online and digital channels -
search engines, online videos and dealer’s websites have become the three most
important touch points for the buyers - leaving behind traditional media
Internet is an indispensable research
Over 90% of the buyers across new cars, used cars, and new two-wheelers buyers
research online (95% new car buyers, 94% used car buyers, and 90% two-wheeler)
Over 90% of new and used car buyers and 81% two wheeler buyers rely on search
engines, to read vehicle reviews and get access to information on aggregators
With online video growth in the country, YouTube has emerged as a critical
platform for buyers to find independent and credible videos that solve their
95% of new car buyers, 89% of used car buyers, 87% used car sellers and 90% two
further into the influence of online videos, the report finds that Videos act
as ‘buyers’ consulting zones and online video plays a significant role in the
purchase journey of an automobile shopper with nine out of the ten buyers doing
one follow up action triggered by the video. It allows buyers to experience
cars and two wheelers from different and unique angles such as vehicle
features, design (walk-around interior, features and technology), in-action
(vehicle safety tests, VR content, performance videos), reviews and ads
(testimonials, third party reviews or comparison tests. Sellers who sell
through Organised channels in Tier 2 and Tier 3 use more videos.
Automobile shoppers go online to find their
digital becomes the primary touch point for prospective buyers, automobile
brands and dealerships have heightened their online presence to be a part of
the consumer’s car-purchasing journey. The report states that 72% of the new
car buyers, 70% of the used car buyers, 70% of the used car sellers and 54% of
two-wheeler buyers searched for dealership online.
Bansal, Head of Industry - Auto, Google India, said, “The auto industry is
undergoing a digital transformation and many leading brands have already
digitised their consumer touch points. With the consumer preferences shifting
to digital across categories, we will see more brands find new ways to engage
consumers on digital platforms. The report also captures that the duration
between research and final-decision making has become short with easy access to
information online. This makes it even more important for auto brands to create
richer experiences and content that allows buyers to not just get information
but also get an immersive brand experience to engage and influence their
report also states that the window of being influenced and final
decision-making is short. While 85% of new car and 92% used car buyers decide
within two months, about 91% of Tier-2 buyers took almost two months. 95% of
two-wheeler buyers decide within 2 months.
New consumer trends to watch out for:
Buying car online: Searches for “Buy
car online” emerged for the first time amidst Covid-19, indicating a huge shift
in consumers' expectations from brands. This was also reflected in the offline
research with more consumers willing to purchase an automobile online rather
than going to the dealer showroom. 54% of new car buyers would consider to buy
online if given the option as compared to 44% 2 years back.
360-degree video’s and virtual reality could replace test drives 70% car buyers
and 60% two-wheeler buyers agreed that 360-degree videos or VR videos would
probably convince them to buy cars without a test
are willing to pay more for connected technology and personalisation
of new car buyers are willing to pay for “connected” technology in their
vehicle with almost (82%) hatchback buyers, (79%) of sedan buyers and (85%) of
SUV buyers are likely to pay premium.
consumers want personalisation options with 50% new cars and two wheeler buyers
using car configurators, before purchase.
survey covered 2,000 respondents covering 17 cities from Tier-1, 2, 3 areas and
the respondent base was across male and female, in the age groups of 18 to 40
years. The respondents were chosen based on their access to the internet.
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