Why Car searches begin online
Despite low Internet penetration level, according to a Google study, every third car buyer in India’s top cities start their search on the world-wide web. Four out of every ten new car buyers and three in every ten used car buyers use the Internet to do their initial research before making the purchase.
Let's figure why.
The reason why the Indian car buyer's (for that matter, any car buyer) online is twofold. One, their product involvement is high due to the purchase risk involved. This risk may be financial or even social, and so consumers actively seek external information about various available car brands. The information thus gathered helps them spot the right car brand, better. Two, the genesis to this search is the Internet simply due to the convenience it offers the searcher. The consumer doesn't have to move a muscle to access information about car brands, online. But whats important to note is that this search may only contribute the formation of the consumer's primary consideration set. Further evaluation of the brands in the set may require the consumer seek relevant reference groups. It may even result in a visit to the considered cars' showroom for a talk with the dealer and a test drive.
High product involvement means the information search by the consumer is active, external and widespread. The Internet is where such searches start, but surely not where they end. Curtailing the search would require the consumer go beyond confines of Internet into the real world.
'Cos that's where there's more information. And of course, the cars.