McLEAN, Va. – Google will unveil key findings from a study about the online behavior of car shoppers at the 2011 NADA Convention & Expo, which will be held in San Francisco on Feb. 5-7.
With nearly 90 percent of car buyers today using the Web to help make their purchasing decisions, it’s more important than ever for auto dealers to have an online presence, says Michelle Morris, director of Google’s automotive industry division in Detroit, Mich.
“Whether it’s searching for local inventory, comparison shopping or finding directions to a local dealership, car shoppers are using the Web to find dealers,” says Morris, who will be presenting the workshop “Insights into Consumer Behavior” at the convention.
Her workshop is one of nine “Online Presence” workshops offered by NADA University at the convention.
“If a car shopper can’t find you online, which is where they go first to research, how will they find your dealership offline?” Morris asks.
Google and Compete Inc., a marketing firm that specializes in online consumer research, have partnered on a study to analyze and better understand the online behavior of car shoppers six months to one week prior to their vehicle purchase.
Key findings of the study will be unveiled at the workshop, and dealers and their managers will also have the opportunity to look at some online tools designed to reach potential car buyers on the Web.
“We’ve learned that 84 percent of car buyers utilize a search engine to help them with their automotive research,” Morris says. “During our convention workshop session, we’ll share best practices with dealers to help them set up their own search campaigns and implement additional online tools to reach car buyers.”
In addition to shopping for cars and trucks, Morris says automotive consumers are also using the Web to help with their service and maintenance needs.
“The Internet is the first source consumers turn to when looking to find the parts needed to fix their vehicles, shop for new tires or find a service location,” Morris says. “Dealers need to make sure they have a Web presence to ensure that consumers are choosing their service shops for maintenance and repair.”
Here’s a list of the other eight “Online Presence” workshops:
• “Blogs, Microsites and SEO” – Brian Pasch (Pasch Consulting)
• “Fixed Operations Retention in the Digital World” – Kevin Root (DriverSide.com) and Mike DeCecco (Dealer.com)
• “Increase Traffic and Engagement through Video” – Sean Bradley (Dealer Synergy, Inc.)
• “Influencing Car Shoppers Beyond the Click” – Howard Polirer (AutoTrader.com)
• “Perfecting the Online Lead Mix” – David Kain (KainAutomotive.com) and Anna Zornosa (Dealix, a division of ADP/Cobalt)
• “Social Media 101” and “Social Media 201” – Jared Hamilton (DrivingSales.com)
• “Web Analytics: Improve Your Conversion Rate” – Todd Smith (ActivEngage, Inc.)
“Online Presence” is one of 10 workshop tracks offered at the NADA convention. In total, there are more than 100 workshop sessions covering 35 topics to help dealers and their managers get the most out of their businesses. For a complete list of convention workshops and schedules, visit www.NADAconventionandexpo.org.