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BizReport : Research archives : October 16, 2007

Online automobile buying process overwhelms users

The online automobile buying process is overwhelming U.S. consumers, causing many to abandon their searches after spending many frustrating hours on the big search engines.

by Helen Leggatt

autobytel%20logo.gifThree out of four Americans searching the Internet for automobiles left their computers without finding the information they sought, found the Kelton Research study commissioned by Autobytel Inc.

Furthermore, 72 percent of online searchers experienced what is called “search engine fatigue”, a feeling of frustration and impatience brought about by the inability to find the required information. That’s a significant percentage when 90 percent of all automobile purchasers use the Internet for research.

A large number, 85 percent, wished for a one-stop shop for automobile information online, including everything from purchasing, servicing and accessories.

Other key findings from the study include:

- 86 percent agreed that the big search engines have limitations and drawbacks.

- 65 percent of those seeking information to aid their automobile purchasing decision spent two hours or more, in one go, searching for specific information on search engines.

- 67 percent found third-party sites, such as or, to be “mostly similar” with little to differentiate amongst the various websites.

- 36 percent claimed they had to visit a multitude of different websites in order to get the comparative information they needed to make a decision.

- Three-quarters plan to use a range of professional and consumer reviews when researching their next automobile purchase.

Tags:, automobile, search engine

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