Digital media network Komli Media's online audience and advertising measurement platform, ViziSense, has released a customised report on the online behavior of potential car buyers in India, 'The Virtual World of the Car Buyer'.
The report has analysed the online activity of over 5,000 users - from the ViziSense India panel of over 1,10,000 users - in 2010. Surveys were conducted over a six-month period.
As per the report, automobile websites in India - including independent sites such as carwale.com and cardekho.com as well as car manufacturers' own websites - saw a growth in traffic of 50% in 2010, during which period the passenger car industry grew 31%, according to the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers.
ViziSense defines potential online car buyers as users who have either visited an automobile website more than once in a month, or visited more than one automobile website in a month, or have specifically searched for a car brand or model.
The frequency of new car launches in 2010 and focused digital activities by car manufacturers around these launches also ensured high traction in visits to their websites. The growth indicates the surge in the use of virtual showrooms by potential car buyers to seek information and take decisions around their car purchases.
Key insights in the report include:
A huge 33% of all potential online car buyers are interested in cars above Rs 6 lakh
Chandigarh, Indore and Coimbatore are the key cities beyond the top eight metros which saw high interest from potential online car buyers
First-hand ownership experience - akin to word-of-mouth in the offline world - of a new car purchase, and dealership and service experiences was a bigger influencer for potential online car buyers than 'expert' car reviews
Among manufacturers, the Tata Motors online properties saw the highest interest among potential online car buyers
Amit Bhartiya, GM and VP, ViziSense, said, "The current breed of car buyers seek much more information around cars, want to compare attributes and features across segments and also seek first hand ownership experience to make quick, informed decisions. Auto websites play a huge role in facilitating information, comparisons of attributes and features across segments and first-hand car owner experiences. They have crunched the overall car purchase cycle. The recently closed acquisition of Carwale.com is a testament to the increasingly important role of the internet in influencing purchases."