How Today's Auto Shoppers Research and Why Trust is So Essential

Thought Leaders
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It's no secret that the auto shopping process has undergone a transformation in the last ten years -- change driven largely by the proliferation and accessibility of online research tools. Traditional auto resource guides, auto manufacturer brochures, newspaper classifieds, vehicle valuation books, car magazines -- which are all still very relevant -- are now available to auto shoppers in amplified form.

Consumers have access to these tools alongside a wealth of expert reviews, test drive videos, image galleries, and more across manufacturer (OEM), dealer and auto research sites (Car and Driver, KBB, NADAguides). More importantly, they are able to find this information with more ease and accessibility than ever before. Today's auto shopper has all the information they need to research their next vehicle purchase -- whenever and wherever they want to access it.

As the population of the U.S. becomes increasingly diverse, the auto industry continues to evolve its communication and appeal to consumers across various age groups, cultures and genders. According to Pew Research Center1, Asian and Hispanic immigration is projected to account for a majority of U.S. population growth for the next 50 years. Millennials are not just surpassing Baby Boomers as the largest U.S. generation, they're also the most racially diverse generation in American history -- not to mention they are said to buy more cars today than Generation X. Family dynamics are changing as well with women now influencing 80% of all vehicle purchases.2 Because of these shifting demographics, auto marketers are always looking to gain deeper insight into the evolving research landscape and how these key demographics -- Women, Millennials, Hispanics, and Asians -- shop for cars.

Purchasing a vehicle is a big decision, one that requires both a significant financial commitment and many hours of research. People are constantly cycling in and out of market depending on where they are in their life stage (shifts in income, age, change in family size or length of commute), which can greatly impact how they shop. To better understand their mindsets, Jumpstart Automotive commissioned global research firm Ipsos Connect to uncover shoppers' underlying motivations, opinions and sources of information they trust most during the research process. Through qualitative research (focus groups and one-on-one interviews in Houston, Texas and Sacramento, California), then quantifying with measurable data those findings through a series of national online surveys, this study provides a look at general trends and addresses some of the fundamental differences among these key demographics. Download the white paper below to see the results. 

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