3 keys to understanding the auto shopper.

By Beth Bruce, Field Marketing Lead at eBay Advertising

With over 168M active users, no one understands shoppers better than eBay. Utilizing the valuable data we gain from our customers, we are constantly exploring new ways to find useful and interesting insights. Our aim is to cultivate understanding of customers and the automotive shopping journey, then help brands leverage this information to make their marketing even more effective.

After conducting our own first party research, we compiled an in-depth report to better understand a shopper’s journey when buying a car. Our most surprising find is just how much the Internet has changed the auto buying jounrney.

Rather than going to brick-and-mortar dealerships or auto parts stores, a growing number of shoppers are online to research, compare, and purchase online. This presents a prime opportunity for brands to reach car buyers at the exact right moment in their shopping journey.

In addition to our eGuide, we have compiled 3 top considerations to ensure you are making the most of your advertising in this expanding field.

1. Research is changing.

Because of the rise of the internet and technology, the way people shop for cars is evolving. Thanks to the mobile and broadband web adoption, it’s easy to access information anywhere. In fact, 87% of consumers use the internet to research an auto purchase.

Customers now rely on online reviews and testimonials rather than information from a dealership or salesperson. This research phase brings many prospective car buyers not only to eBay to browse, but across the internet to websites like KBB and more.

As buyers get close to purchasing, online traffic increases. In the month prior to purchase, eBay consumer’s frequency of site visits doubles. Understanding this research phase is crucial to advertisers looking to connect with prospective car buyers.

2. Car buying doesn’t stop when you hand over the keys.

When a customer buys a new car, they are also thinking about insurance, accessories, emergency supplies, and much more. This is a prime opportunity for advertisers in complimentary verticals to connect with new car owners, educating them about insurance benefits, coverage options, and ways to save.

Brands can get in front of eBay auto shoppers while they have car ownership on their mind, and are interested in saving money or expanding their coverage.

3. Staying social is important.

In 2015, the US auto industry hit a new sales record of just under 17.5 million vehicles. Although buyers may be moving from the dealership to the web, the demand for cars is continuing to grow.

Many auto shoppers said the first place they would share the good news about their auto purchase was on social media. Having a social media presence is important target those online auto shoppers, staying with them across touch points and through the scope of their shopping journey.

For more information about the auto shopping journey and to access our in-depth findings in full, you can download our free eGuide here.