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Internet boosts youth car buying

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The top three car companies with the highest sales satisfaction rating in the country are (in order of lead) Kia, Suzuki and Toyota. This is according to the latest J.D. Power Philippines survey on the 2018 Philippines Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study released last 3 September 2018.

“An increasing number of younger buyers (29 years old and younger) are seeking a more engaging and seamless convergence between their online and offline vehicle-shopping experience. These younger buyers are more satisfied when they use a combination of both online channels — such as the website — and offline channels, such as visits to dealerships when purchasing a vehicle,” the report said.

According to the study, this group of customers uses both online and offline activities when researching their coming vehicle purchase. In fact, 60 percent of car shoppers 29-years-old and younger use the internet for research as against 43 percent 30-years and older.

The study also shows 80 percent of the younger buyers compare prices from different dealerships online vs. 68 percent of older buyers, 63 percent of younger buyers contact a dealership directly to schedule an appointment vs. 54 percent of older buyers and 28 percent of younger buyers engage with a staff member with deep product knowledge, such as product specialists, compared with 20 percent of older buyers. But both the old and young generation of buyers take a test drive with 81 percent of the young ones vs. 80 percent of older buyers.

“When deciding on their next vehicle, younger buyers are not just looking online, so it is crucial for manufacturers to redefine both their digital and traditional strategy if they want to improve the customer experience,” said Sigfred M. Doloroso, country manager, J.D. Power Philippines.

Other key findings of the study include:

Digital media increases satisfaction: Satisfaction among customers who stay engaged via digital devices—such as tablets, smartphones and touch screen monitors/ kiosks—during shopping and delivery is higher than among those who do not (827 vs. 750, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale). Satisfaction is higher when salespeople use digital media to demonstrate vehicle features during the purchase decision (839 vs. 815, respectively) and of vehicle features at delivery (840 vs. 817).

Finding the right channel: Younger buyers are more inclined than older buyers to follow recommendations from the dealer and salesperson (39 vs. 27 percent, respectively) and are more influenced by in-mall displays when making their purchase decision (38 vs. 33 percent).

Older buyers opt to refer to information gathered from the television, compared with younger buyers (16 vs. 10 percent, respectively) and newspapers (25 vs. 20 percent).

Closing the deal: Overall satisfaction is higher when the sales consultant has total authority in agreeing to the terms of a deal, compared with when the consultant needs to get permission from their supervisor (831 vs. 788, respectively).

Among the 10 brands ranked in this year’s study, Kia ranks highest across all factors, with an overall score of 842. Suzuki is second with a score of 831 and Toyota ranks third with a score of 826.

The 2018 Philippines SSI Study is a comprehensive analysis of the new-vehicle purchase and delivery experience. The study is based on responses from 2,072 new-vehicle owners who purchased their vehicle between August 2017 and May 2018 and was fielded between February and July 2018.

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