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Crowdtap purchasing study finds 80% of those in the market for a car are more likely to turn to social media than a salesperson

Crowdtap released the results of a new study exploring the consumer path to purchase when it comes to buying a vehicle. The data shows 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.

The Crowdtap 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.

Key findings include:

  • Auto buyers are relying on social media to inform their purchase decisions.
  • 68% said they have purchased a car they found on social media.
  • 87% said they research potential car purchases on social media prior to making a decision.
  • 80% of auto buyers said they are more likely to turn to their social network for car buying advice than a car salesperson.
  • Auto buyers are likely to take to social media to talk about cars: 95% said they would post about a great model or maker on social media.
  • Auto buyers value the recommendations of friends and family members more than any other source.
  • 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. Auto brands that are able to steer the power of peer endorsements and social sharing will find success in marketing’s people-powered future.

—Matthew Scott, SVP of Strategy & Business Development at Crowdtap

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

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