Global Reviews, a customer experience
measurement company, today released research that showed 72% of
Australians who bought a car in the last six months used the internet
to reach a purchasing decision—a 27% increase on the last three years.

Global
Reviews director, Adam Goodvach said: “By using the internet people no
longer have to waste their precious weekends driving from one suburb to
another to trawl through car yards.

“Today, they can find a new car by spending
an hour researching online in the comfort of their own home or office
and at a time of their choosing.”

Goodvach said the trend in online car purchasing points towards a rapidly growing new multi-million dollar industry.

Frost & Sullivan research director Foad Fadaghi was not surprised by the results but told B&T
there were two sides of the coin: e-commerce, where assisted online
purchases take place and the increasingly important research side,
whereby both corporations and consumers are generating large amounts of
information through online forums and blogging.

“Increasingly consumers’ online research is being used for purchasing decisions,” Fadaghi said.

Such is the power of online research that most large automotive companies are investing in ‘corporate blogging’.

Influential bloggers are now invited to media conferences and new product launches in place of traditional journalists.

“There is the question of objectivity so the
advice to consumers would be, don’t rely on one source of information,”
Fadaghi added.

Fadaghi said although a large proportion of
second-hand car sales are already being conducted directly over the
internet, the ‘hands on’ element remains vital to car sales and only a
small, niche market for high-end, luxury vehicles will successfully
convert to online purchasing.

Global Reviews also rated car classifieds in
terms of delivery on customer expectations with News Interactive’s
carsguide.com.au rated as Australia’s best automotive website customer
experience.

20 March 2006

Peter Fray

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