Car buyers are online before they’re on the road

The internet has become the dominant space in car buying.

A recent survey conducted by eBay, Gumtree SA’s holding company, showed that 87% of respondents used the internet in some way as part of their car purchasing process and over 60% indicated that they are more likely to purchase a car online.

Gumtree SA’s Automotive Head, Jeff Osborne, says that online platforms are increasingly used at every stage of the purchase journey from initial research through the serious consideration phase to final viewing and purchase.

Gumtree alone sees over 200,000 unique browsers visiting the Autos category every month and more than 200,000 Autos ads live at any given time. “It’s a massive marketplace that dealers know they cannot ignore” notes Osborne “demonstrated by the fact that 64% of our listings are now from dealers as against a 50/50 split only a short while ago”.

Osborne believes this should be a wake-up call to those dealers who are not operating on the site; “they are missing out on a vibrant sales space which is only going to get bigger”.

He describes Gumtree Autos users as “committed browsers who do not often cross into other categories – they are usually only looking to buy or sell a vehicle”.

Research shows that male and female buyers are equally likely to use the internet in car purchasing however there are some interesting gender differences in the key factors in decision making. Osborne reports that “women consider price to be the key consideration in a vehicle purchase, followed by fuel economy and safety, whereas the brand of the car was found to be the most important attribute for men”.