HOUSTON — CAR-Research XRM, provider of a single-source CRM solution called “XRM, Extreme CRM,” identified the top reasons car buyers leave a dealership without buying in a new study it conducted from January to December 2012.

The survey, conducted by the company’s Certified Research Call Center, polled 167,503 customers from more than 150 auto dealerships across the United States. The findings show that the top reason customers leave without buying is that they are still shopping and have not been sold at that dealership. Of respondents, only 19 percent went on to purchase elsewhere, meaning that 81 percent of them were presumably still in market at the time of the interview.

In response to the question, “Why did you leave the Dealership?” the generic answer “Still Shopping” was uttered by 25 percent of respondents and ranked as the highest reason given. However, a full 48 percent of customers surveyed provided additional detail as to why they left the dealership without buying, with price, financial inventory and style rounded out the Top 5 reason given.

The following are the Top 12 reasons customer gave for leaving a dealership without buying:

  1. Still Shopping:  25 percent
  2. Price: 15 percent
  3. Financial: 13 percent
  4. Inventory: 10 percent
  5. Style: 10 percent
  6. Payments: 5 percent
  7. Other: 5 percent
  8. Sales Staff Issues: 4 percent
  9. Trade: 4 percent
  10. Decision Maker Absent: 3 percent
  11. Time Constraints: 2 percent
  12. Negative Equity:  1 percent

Here are additional findings from the study:

• Items that ranked from 2-5 (Price, Financial and Inventory): The Top 3 reasons for not buying accounted for 38 percent of the reasons cited by customers for leaving a dealership without purchasing a vehicle.

• The majority of customers surveyed did receive a road-to-sale process steps while at the dealership, including product presentation (79%), demo drive (62%), service introduction and walk (38%), and manager TO interview (52%).

“According to JD Power, today's shoppers only visit 1.4 dealerships before purchase, down from 4.5 in 2005,” said Patrick Kelly, CAR-Research president and COO. “Showroom visitors come to the first dealership they visit more ready to buy than at any other time in modern car sales history. In other words, it’s not about be-backs anymore, it’s about being first. And our own data from over four years shows that the ones that do leave for other dealerships left because of financing, inventory, and price.”