According to ‘The Drive to Decide 2018’ annual report by Google and Kantar TNS, digital platforms like Google Search, videos and dealer websites were the strongest influencers for Indians purchasing a car in 2018. A total of 90 percent Indian car buyers in 2018 were influenced by various promotions and advertisements done online. This percentage has gone up by 16 percent from 2016, when about 74 percent made a purchase after online market.

There were about 80 percent consumers who first interacted with a video advertisement online, about 90 percent came through search, whereas only 56 percent visited brand / dealer websites for the buying decision. As digital becomes the primary touch point for prospective buyers, automobile brands and dealerships have heightened their online presence to be a part of the consumer’s car-purchasing journey.

“With India becoming a video-first country, online video plays a significant role in the purchase journey of an automobile shopper. Over the last two years, the percentage of online video usage by consumers has nearly doubled from 43 percent in 2016 to 80 percent in 2018,” noted press statement by Google and Kantar TNS on Wednesday.

Vikas Agnihotri, Country Director – Sales, Google India said, “The speed at which Indians are adopting the internet is well established. In the case of the auto industry, 90% buyers are researching online and over 80% are watching videos. From just searching for manufacturers and dealers online, buyers today are actively looking for videos to answer their questions around car features to reviews to vehicle performance and more. Consequently, the focus for auto manufacturers has also moved to creating more immersive experiences that allow them to drive this action.”

The study also highlights that videos not only act as a platform for discovery, but also as buyers’ consulting zone. Out of 87 percent of video audience about 52 percent visited the dealership, about 45 percent scheduled a test drive, and about 40 percent requested a price quote.

While Indian consumer looked for the prices as an obvious step, they also searched for reviews and recommendations before making a final decision. Not just that, these consumer typically looked for maintenance programs, promotional offers, locations and directions to dealerships as well.

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