DENVER – Adtaxi, one of the nation’s fastest-growing digital marketing agencies, announced the results of its second Coronavirus and Automotive consumer survey, which examines trends in response to the crisis among consumers in the market for new or used vehicles. According to the study, 70% of respondents have lowered their budget due to the pandemic – and though 66% are considering both new and used, 56% report they have shifted their focus from new to used vehicles.
For the remainder of 2020 and beyond, digital marketing that speaks to auto shoppers’ new phase of research and price comparison will be the gold standard for responsive and effective brand strategy.
With lower budgets comes renewed research. As pandemic precautions continue, 49% of respondents say they will spend more time comparing prices and promotions online. 46% anticipate spending more time comparing makes and models online, and 43% will spend more time comparing dealerships online.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has made a lasting impact on the auto shopping experience. This study not only shows the resiliency of potential buyers, but offers a roadmap for dealers to best adapt and reach consumers at their new budgets and comfort levels,” said Daniel Maynard, Director of Automotive, Adtaxi. “For the remainder of 2020 and beyond, digital marketing that speaks to auto shoppers’ new phase of research and price comparison will be the gold standard for responsive and effective brand strategy.”
This study follows Adtaxi’s May 2020 Coronavirus and Automotive consumer survey, which showed shoppers making nimble adjustments to pandemic precautions: 63% reported interest in home test drives (69% in the new study) and 60% reported being more inclined to purchase if the dealership offered home delivery (55% in the new study). The May 2020 study also found respondents embracing the shift to digital, with 90% comparing makes and models online, 87% comparing prices and promotions online, and 83% comparing dealerships online
Among the newest findings:
Economic Uncertainty: Among respondents who are planning to postpone their auto purchase or lower their budget, 35% blame a drop in income, while 54% say they are being fiscally cautious due to economic uncertainty. Additionally, 11% report that buying an automobile is no longer a priority.
Adaptive Solutions: 75% say they would be more inclined to purchase a new or used vehicle today if they could delay payments, consistent with 72% in the first study. Further, 68% report that information on financing options is useful to them, up from 61% in the first study.
Brand Loyalty: As more incentives and deals become available, price and value are growing in importance - at the expense of loyalty. 45% report they will continue shopping their preferred brand or model, while 54% say they are looking for the best deal, regardless of brand.
Consumer Confidence: The majority of respondents (54%) believe that local dealerships are consciously taking steps to ensure their safety. Meanwhile, 42% find current automotive advertising helpful to them – up from 39% in the first study.
“This second study is a valuable opportunity to track consumer preferences over time. In our first study we found auto shoppers embracing a new digital normal during the pandemic. With key results remaining steady through the fall, it’s clear that consumer habits are being crystallized and embedded for the long haul,” said Maynard. “The sooner dealers adjust to this tectonic shift in shopping habits, the better positioned they will be for the next phase of the pandemic and its consumer response – whatever that may be.”
Read the full study here.