Attitudes towards buying online have changed dramatically over the last decade, and today online shopping is big business.
In a 1995 issue of NewsWeek, Clifford Stoll said he could never imagine a world in which shopping online would become a reality; going as far as to say: “Even if there were a trustworthy way to send money over the Internet—which there isn’t—the network is missing a most essential ingredient of capitalism: salespeople.”
When it comes to a big purchase, like a car, more and more of us it seems are cutting out the salesmen and turning to the web to search for our new vehicle, to research the market and to buy parts.
Here is an infographic with some key figures:
According to data from CapGemini, ‘Cars Online 09/10’, October 2009, 40 per cent of those surveyed said they would buy a car online, from start-to-finish, and 50 per cent said they would buy parts and accessories online.
The web can be seen as having empowered car buyers, with the wealth of information available online. Google/NetRatings, ‘Gearshift III’, October 2009, data shows that of new car buyers: 53 per cent use the web to read vehicle reviews, 49 per cent use the web to learn about brands, 44 per cent use it to find a showroom and 40 per cent use the web to compare vehicle specs.
Video-sharing website YouTube wields big influence online when it comes to car-buyers, with 31 per cent of web-users who watched car videos online using their site (According to Google/NetRatings, ‘Gearshift III’, October 2009)
In just four years (2005-2009), the percentage of consumers using the web to research vehicles went up by 29 per cent, according to figures from CapGemini, ‘Cars Online 09/10’, October 2009.
These statistics suggest that the web has become a very important part of the car-buying process, with consumers being empowered to make better judgements on which car they buy.
[Mark Hooson is a finance writer for Moneysupermarket.com and writes about car insurance, car finance deals and spending money wisely]