The latest Carsales market watch report highlights the key consumer search trends, which include sunroofs and slow follow-ups.
As well as mobile browsing, the report says 25% of enquiries come via text messaging; 30% of enquiries are still made over the phone, while 42% use email.
“Buyers are increasingly turning to their mobile during the car buying journey,” the report reads.
“Ensure that you have strategies in place to provide customer service when your business is closed.”
Above all, consumers are demonstrating that they want convenience, which means the ability to research and shop any time they desire, not just when dealerships are open.
“Half of buyer enquiries now occur outside of traditional 9am–5pm business hours,” the report says.
“Engaging a buyer with prompt follow-up or an auto response to their enquiry not only helps them feel immediately acknowledged and excited to set up an appointment, but can stop the buyer turning to a competitor.”
The statistics highlight the importance of prompt responses to enquiries. Fifteen percent of Carsales enquiries are converted to a sale within 24 hours, yet a quarter of enquiries go unanswered in those vital first 24 hours. This further emphasises the importance of automated responses when the dealership is closed.
The data shows that ‘sunroof’ was the most searched for keyword, prompting Carsales to advise Dealers to promote the feature via their photography, descriptive comments and promotional material.
Most buyers do nothing
Contrary to popular perception, 52.9% of searches were not sorted and buyers viewed their results in the default ‘Featured’ view.
Just 27.9% of search results were sorted from the default ‘Featured’ format to ‘Price (Low to High)’, and 6.8% to ‘Price (High to Low)’.
Less than 25% of searches on Isuzu, Toyota, Holden and Ford cars were sorted from the default ‘Featured’ format to ‘Price (Low to High)’.
Prestige buyers sort more by Price
Differences in sort behaviour become clear when comparing mainstream and prestige brands. There’s no doubt that Australians are keen to assess their ability to purchase a prestige car by sorting search results by ‘Price’ options.
Buyers searching for prestige cars sorted search results by ‘Price (Low to High)’ and ‘Price (High to Low)’ to a greater extent than mainstream brand buyers. Audi, BMW, Infiniti, Lotus, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche buyers were more likely than average to sort search results by ‘Price (Low to High)’. Aston Martin, Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren and Rolls Royce buyers were more likely than average to sort search results by ‘Price (High to Low)’.
Tesla searches ranked sixth for use of ‘Price (Low to High)’ and seventh for ‘Price (High to Low)’.
Demand for vintage
Alfa Romeo, MG, Fiat, Citroen and Porsche were amongst the brands with much higher than average sorting by ‘Year (Low to High)’, indicating a greater demand for vintage models.