The car industry is one of the last industries to fully embrace ecommerce.
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many businesses that did not traditionally see themselves as ‘online businesses’ having to embrace change – and quickly.
We are starting to see (as happened with other industries) consumers and dealers becoming more comfortable with purchasing and selling a car online, or at least part of the transaction beginning online (e.g. research) and then the deal being finalised in the dealership.
This trend has increased because of covid-19 which had accelerated the move to ecommerce and we are seeing suppliers to the industry offering tools and resources free to help dealers make the transiton to ecommerce.
Understanding consumer behaviour online is a key element for car dealers in reaching out to potential customers who are searching online.
To gain some insight into how the market currently sits let’s consider a simple search phrase – ‘Buy a car online‘ .
‘Buy a car online’ is currently typed into Google approximately 150 times per day, 4,500 times per month or 54,000 times per year in the UK.
At current prices it costs approximately £3.50 to purchase a click for this phrase to your dealer website from Google
We will look at search volumes on mobile phones, in particular, as the mobile phone audience is by far the biggest audience by device.
Which websites rank for ‘Buy a car online’?
The following table is a list of the top 100 websites that rank for the phrase ‘buy a car online’ in Google.
‘Buy a Car’ Top 100
We can see that there is a great deal of information on buying a car online available.
Overview of the list
Few on the list could be described as ‘traditional car dealers’ and only one Bristol Street Motors is in the coveted top ten.
The most prominent name on the list is the new entrant Cazoo who are looking to capture the nascent e-commerce market and disrupt the industry.
If we look at the top 100 car dealers it is interesting to see their position in this list. The list does not show that many traditional car dealers. This could be because dealer groups target local geographic areas rather than UK wide.
One of the benefits of full ecommerce is that a dealer can sell to anyone in the country. Traditional geographic markets may in the future be less rigid.
Whilst the move to e-commerce has accelerated it is also significant that in a recent poll of motorists only a fifth have bought a car unseen.
75% of motorists have never bought a car unseen and maintain that they never will in the future.
Top Ten Search Rankings for the phrase 'Buy a Car Online'
A ranking in the position of one achieves a click-through rate that is ten times higher than a ranking position of ten.
The top ten websites % of visitors for the phrase ‘buy a car online’.