The release of products and brands or even seeing them in person on the roads can often be the first port of call for many searchers. It could come from an in-person sighting, advertisements online, on screen, in film, social media, magazines or print, and practically anywhere else you could ever see an advert. People will generally begin to search online for more information once a product that meets specific criteria is released.
This could lead to similar product searches or even searches in the used market following this, but in any case, it can happen. Organic experiences will start to happen, with people searching to find out more about the product or related products until eventually deciding it is something they do or don’t want to spend their money and time on. This can span months, with touchpoints typically being brand websites and seller websites alike to establish product viability and form opinions, right off the bat.
When potential buyers become more serious about a vehicle purchase, more intricate information may become more apparent as a touchpoint than branded landing platforms that are more cinematic and overarching in their purpose than granular and practical. It may be in forums, publications, review platforms, or branded marketing materials, but in any case, information is the goal.
Content marketing is often the winner of this scenario. Users will begin to explore the queries that they may have about the products, looking for reassurance of their potential decision, or reasons that the purchase may not be the best decision that could be made in the situation. The more cautious or invested the buyer may be, the longer this touchpoint may last or the further it might span, multiplying as issues for formed and solved even forming a box-ticking exercise, for the most savvy of buyers.
Although this particular stage of the process might only be for more cautious buyers rather than those that can be sold to more easily, reviews are without a doubt a large part of a buying experience and act as a potentially make or break level touchpoint in the car buying journey.
Some products and brands have a reputation that precedes them in the 21st century, whether these are mere speculation or simple tried and tested experiences that have been shared across the online world. These reviews may be just as good as well as bad, leaving buyers that aren’t already certain to explore the negatives of the potential product they are buying, helping to solidify their confidence or to prevent a mistake that’s hard to swallow.
Something that more cautious or financially aware customers may do when going through the organic purchasing journey is to check on the resale value of the cars they are looking to buy. This may be important to incorporate into your organic buying journey or even into your content marketing strategy if doing so indirectly. Doing this helps to ensure the purchase is feasible and logical, as well as get some financial confidence in entering a new deal.
One of the latter stages of the converting process is to start looking at deals and not just vehicles. This is where there is more competition than ever, not only with competing organic touchpoints but also from paid sources too. From a solely organic perspective, however, you may see services like AutoTrader begin to compete, as well as car finance deal sites like CarWow, maybe with these services even being searched for directly. Interest rates, monthly payments, total cost of ownership, seller finance contributions, and more.
Existing Vehicle Research
Selling a previous car is generally the next port of call for buyers, and this is where the part exchange touchpoint normally comes into place. Finding a good deal for a vehicle can often mean a buyer will part exchange with them as a bargaining tool, but not always. In many cases, customers may even contact other sellers and vehicle-buying services in a bid to get the best price possible, all of which can influence the journey’s outcome.
Configurators or Selectors
When buying new, configurators will often be at the forefront of the buying journey, and often the most exciting and standout aspect too. The configuration or even vehicle selection process allows users to explore possibilities, test their ideas and ultimately, find a vehicle that they love and that ticks every box.
Dealership/seller searches within proximity
As well as buying the vehicle online as a touchpoint in the buyer’s online experience, the conversion may just as easily be taken offline, too. This is where looking for local branches or sellers comes into play. Users are able to find out reviews about organisations, find which is the most convenient for them to reach or contact, and ultimately, where they will be spending their money.