Roughly 6 in 10 consumers surveyed across 8 countries say that besides traditional methods of research, they’d like to use Virtual Reality presentations when searching for information about vehicles. That’s according to Capgemini’s Cars Online 2017 study [download page], which found respondents in Emerging Markets showing more interest in additional features than those from Mature Markets.
For example, a majority (58%) of respondents from Emerging Markets (Brazil, China and India) would be interested in using live chat, versus just one-third (35%) of those from Mature Markets (US, UK, France, Germany, and Italy).
Likewise, those from Emerging Markets showed more enthusiasm for video blogs from customers (48% vs. 29%) and video chat (35% vs. 15%) as additional research methods.
That continued a theme found throughout the report in which Emerging Market consumers demonstrated a greater inclination towards newer technologies.
Among more traditional research methods, Emerging Market consumers were less likely to consult dealerships and dealer websites, but more apt to turn to manufacturer and dealer social media sites. Specific to social media, 8 in 10 respondents from Emerging Markets claimed that their purchase decision would likely be influenced by positive comments about a car, dealer or manufacturer. Just half of the consumers surveyed in Mature Markets envisioned that type of influence from social commentary.
4 in 10 Say It’s Likely They’ll Buy Their Next Car Over the Internet
Some 42% of consumers surveyed across the 8 markets claim that they’re “likely” or “very likely” to buy their next car over the internet, as online sales grow. That represents a 20% rise from the 2015 study, in which 35% said their next purchase would be over the internet.
Once again, it’s Emerging Market consumers who are leading the charge, with 58% envisioning their next purchase online, compared to 31% in Mature Markets.
The likelihood of buying a car over the internet remains higher for Premium brands (47%) than for Volume brands (39%). However, appetite for buying Volume brands has grown comparatively faster from the 2015 study (31%).
Technology Companies Find Appeal As Car Producers
The tech companies sometimes known as GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon) already seem inviting to consumers as alternative financial companies, and it seems no different in the automotive space.
In fact, the Capgemini results show that 57% of respondents would be likely to switch from their current brand if technology companies such as Apple or Google produced a car. Fervor for tech company-produced cars was again highest in the Emerging Markets of India (83%), Brazil (76%) and China (76%), while being lowest in the UK (28%) and Germany (37%).
About the Data: The results are based on a survey conducted by FreshMinds in January and February 2017 among 8,101 consumers.