N. Shatrujeet

Internet is a trusted source of information: India Online Auto Users Trends

The survey threw light on the buying behaviour, media influence, usage and attitude of Internet users keen on purchasing cars

The Internet is gaining acceptance as a trusted source of information among online users keen on buying cars. This and many more were the findings of a study conducted by rediff.com and Chetana Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai to understand the relevance of the online medium among Internet users intent on purchasing a car.

Called India Online Auto Users Trends - 2004, the study took into account a sample size of 30,000 users across 533 cities, who were contacted over e-mail during the summer months of March, April and May. Of the lot, 8,841 users were considered as valid respondents based on their answers to a structured questionnaire.

According to the study, 34 per cent of the respondents were aware of future car launches.

55 per cent already owned a car, while 53 per cent were planning to make a new purchase in the next one year.

Segment B cars (that is, cars priced between Rs 4-7 lakh) are preferred by all income groups for an immediate purchase (in the next one year), while Segment C cars (priced between Rs 7-12 lakh) are preferred for a future purchase.

When speaking of the influence of the Net when making a purchase, 31 per cent of the respondents trusted the Internet as a source of information in comparison to 33 per cent of those, who go with print ads and 36 per cent, who are drawn by TV.

28 per cent of respondents had clicked on car ad banners on the Internet, and the online medium emerged as a strong influence in the case of those brands, which advertised heavily on the Net. For instance, Maruti brands Alto, Zen, Esteem and Baleno and Chevrolet Optra had a high recall by virtue of their heavy online advertising.

Of the 28 per cent, who had clicked on online banner ads, 6 per cent were influenced to make a purchase and 18 per cent were enriched in their evaluation of the car brand.

Maruti, for instance, is able to convert prospective customers into actual ones, based on its online presence, says the study.

Maruti Alto was the most researched car on the Net with 40 per cent of the respondents clicking on the online banner ads. Zen, Optra and Esteem followed next at 36 per cent respectively. Also, 41 per cent banner click-throughs were from respondents actively considering a new purchase. © 2004 agencyfaqs!