Keynote: Three Out Of Four Car Buyers Search Online
The study, based on an analysis of 2,000 respondents who were considering buying a car, found that 76 percent of consumers visit a manufacturer's Web site and 65 percent of consumers visit a non- manufacturer Web site. But only 53 percent of consumers with online connections turn to newspapers.
The report also found that Kelley Blue Book rates highest with consumers for satisfaction, brand recognition, and likelihood of conversion, out of a total of 10 non-manufacturer car Web sites: Autobytel.com, Automotive.com, AutoTrader.com, Cars.com, CarsDirect, Edmunds.com, Kelley Blue Book, MSN Autos, Vehix.com, and Yahoo! Autos.
Cars.com was the second-highest-rated site overall, and Edmunds.com came in third.
To assess conversion likelihood, Keynote asked the consumer testers how likely they were to return to the site for additional research, or to make a purchase, said Jones. Consumer satisfaction hinged on whether testers found the site easy to use and well-organized.
Kelley Blue Book's site drew 4.7 million unique visitors in February, compared to 1.9 at both Cars.com and Edmunds.com, according to Nielsen//NetRatings. eBay Motors--the most heavily trafficked non-manufacturer car site, with more than 10 million unique visitors in February, according to Nielsen//NetRatings--was not included in the survey.
For the study, conducted during the last week of December, Keynote divided its 2,000-member panel into 10 groups of 200, so that each consumer was assigned to test just one site.