U.S. Auto Buyers Shopping More Social Reviews than Ever Before

written by BVM April 1, 2018

“The Impact of Social Among Car Buyers,” a recent study from MaritzCX, demonstrates social media reviews gain traction and credibility as a trusted source when making vehicle purchase decisions.

Study results are based on the responses of more than 13,300 U.S. car and truck buyers who purchased a vehicle between 2015 and 2017. Six in 10 survey participants, 56 percent, report referencing social media reviews when making a vehicle purchase decision. Generationally, two-thirds of Millennials report referencing social reviews when making purchase decisions – the highest among the generations surveyed, according to the MaritzCX study.

The top ranked social sites for vehicle reviews are Edmunds (31 percent) and Google (21 percent), with Facebook and DealerRater tying (4 percent).

“Social media reviews are gaining traction and power in making or breaking purchase decisions for products or entire brands,” said Tim Englehart, Vice President, Automotive at MaritzCX. “Accessing and understanding the pulse of customer experience (CX) is the game changer to engage with customers, discover insights, and deliver on expectations.”

Social reviews are being referenced for more than just the type or brand of vehicle to buy. The study reveals social reviews help many choose a dealership. Among respondents, 38 percent said social media reviews influenced their decision on which dealership to visit.

Dealer reviews are sought most frequently on Google, 32 percent, Edmunds at 12 percent, followed by Facebook and DealerRater both at 11 percent. Also, the majority, 80 percent, of people who read reviews, consider both positive and negative reviews to inform their decision.

While 56 percent of people report reading reviews, just 53 percent said they have written a review on a social channel. But, 40 percent of respondents said they would be willing to write a review if prompted in a CX survey.

“A CX program can harness untapped potential to encourage reviews from both happy and unhappy consumers,” Englehart said. “Dealers and auto brands that ask for reviews and make it easy to leave reviews are the ones that are going to leave the competition in their dust.”

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