NEW YORK — Marketing platform provider Crowdtap has released the results of a new study that explores the consumer path to purchase when it comes to buying a vehicle.

The study polled community members who self-identified as “car buyers,” defined as those who were looking to purchase a vehicle within the next year, or who have purchased a vehicle in the past year. The data showed that car buyers are increasingly relying on peer reviews and social media — above traditional advertising and professional review sources — when it comes to researching and learning about car brands and models.

Of the 500 car buyers surveyed, 68% said they have purchased a car they found on social media and 87% said they research potential car purchases on social media prior to making a decision. Eighty percent said they are more likely to turn to their social network for car buying advice than a car salesperson. 

Crowdtap also found that buyers are likely to take to social media to talk about cars, as 95% said they would post about a great model or maker on social media. And 36% cited friend or family recommendations as the single most influential source on car services, followed by online review sites (19%) and social media (16%).

“Media-empowered consumers — who increasingly rely on the opinions of their peers to inform buying decisions — are flipping the automotive advertising model on its head,” said Matthew Scott, senior vice president of Strategy & Business Development at Crowdtap. “Auto brands that are able to steer the power of peer endorsements and social sharing will find success in marketing’s people-powered future.”

Crowdtap’s survey of 500 car buyers was conducted in February 2015.



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