Car Shoppers Desert Traditional Media for the Internet

PR Newswire

According to a Polk study, commissioned by, the Internet plays more prominently in car shopping, making the whole process more efficient.

Find out what the 2013 Polk Automotive Buyer influence Study reveals.

According to a new study commissioned by®, the Internet is making car shopping more efficient. The 2013 Polk Automotive Buyer Influence Study revealed that the amount of time consumers spend shopping for a car has decreased dramatically in the last two years; however, the percentage of their shopping time that is spent online has increased substantially.

Although consumers are spending less time shopping overall, they are spending a greater percentage of their shopping time online than they were in 2011. Previously, buyers spent an average of 60 percent of their shopping time online, but that percentage increased to 75 percent in 2013 (77 percent for new car buyers and 73 percent for used car buyers). These changes were likely driven by several factors, including the improved quality and quantity of listings, as well as better merchandising online, greater use of mobile devices and also macro factors such as the continually improving economy.

The study also revealed that the role of traditional media in the shopping process has decreased notably. Though all forms of traditional media showed decreases in usage, the biggest declines in usage of traditional media during the shopping process for both new and used car buyers were seen in print newspapers, television and direct mail.

  • For new car buyers, use of television showed the biggest decline, going from 34 percent in 2011 to 22 percent in 2013. Close behind was print newspaper, which dropped from 28 percent in 2011 to 18 percent in 2013. Use of direct mail went from 16 percent in 2011 to 8 percent in 2013.
  • For used car buyers, use of television also exhibited the biggest decline, though the decrease was slightly less pronounced. Use of television by used car buyers went from 18 percent in 2011 to 12 percent in 2013. Use of print newspaper went from 26 percent in 2011 to 17 percent in 2013, and use of direct mail went from nine percent in 2011 to 4 percent in 2013.





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