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.