Study suggests younger car buyers are much less willing to visit showrooms

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  • Three-quarters of 18- to 25-year-olds would prefer not to visit a showroom at all, compared to just 7% of those aged over 65
  • Overall, 58% of prospects want to visit a showroom before buying a car, according to a new national survey commissioned by Marketing Delivery
  • Highlights growing importance of digital in the omnichannel purchase process

A new survey* commissioned by automotive digital marketing firm, Marketing Delivery, has highlighted a looming challenge for dealers looking to attract younger potential car buyers into physical showrooms. 75% of 18- to 25-year-old motorists said they ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ with the statement: “When I next shop for a new or used car, I would prefer not to visit a showroom at all”.

Older prospective buyers are currently far more willing to visit dealers’ showroom facilities. The proportion indicating they would prefer not to do so falls to 29% among 25- to 34-year-olds, 15% among 45- to 54-year-olds, and as little as 7% among those aged over 65. Looking at responses from all age ranges, 58% on average indicate they would want to visit a showroom before buying a car.

“Across all age ranges, the findings point to the importance of digital communication for engaging with prospective buyers,” comments Jeremy Evans, Chief Executive at Marketing Delivery. “Most customers want an omnichannel experience and dealers need to reflect that in their interactions via email, SMS and social channels.”

The same survey reveals that 64% would conduct most of their research online, only visiting a showroom once they are ready to buy. 

“Digital plays a vital role but the majority still want to touch, feel and drive a car before committing. Dealers can do more to deliver aspects of the showroom experience within a digital realm, guiding decision making while also still prompting the physical visits that remain vital for converting a large proportion of leads,” Evans concludes.

* Survey conducted by OnePoll; 1,000 respondents across the UK, all current motorists

marketing delivery logo4 w268About Marketing Delivery 

Marketing Delivery is the leading eCRM and social media agency for the UK motor retail sector. Using data from the dealer’s DMS, showroom, and aftersales systems, Marketing Delivery creates and distributes personalised, carefully timed, mobile-optimised customer communications – including email, SMS, and social media messages – that improve conversion, satisfaction, retention, and reputation. 

Dealers use Marketing Delivery solutions to engage with customers and prospects throughout the buying and ownership cycles. Tailored eCRM sales and aftersales campaigns are deployed via mobile-responsive email and SMS, reaching a wide audience in a highly productive, cost-effective, and measurable way. For customer communication via social media channels, Marketing Delivery can provide tactical, campaign-specific support, or a fully managed outsourced service encompassing everything from researching and publishing content, to training dealership staff on what and how to post. 

More information about Marketing Delivery is available at or by calling +44 (0) 1892 599 912. 

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