Driving through the Consumer's mind

Steps in the buying process

The passenger car market, after a period of slow and no growth, seems to be showing signs of turning around. Based on the encouraging growth numbers, automotive manufacturers are counting on the general mood of optimism to see the sales change gears and accelerate.

The Indian car buyer is quite rational when looking to buy a car, was established in the previous report. This buyer looks for value and features. Some of the key considerations for the OEMs are:

  • As the young buyers tend to spend less time, it is important to provide them information through the sources that they trust to get into their consideration set. It is apparent there is a clear hierarchy of information sources in terms of credibility and the manufacturers may want to direct their promotional budgets suitably. Further, it is also clear that the dominant social media presence alone is not sufficient to win customers.
  • It is apparent that the number of products in the consideration set determines the buying process of the customer. It may be important for the manufacturer to think of different ways to stay in consideration. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to understand what the buyer is considering and how much time has already been spent on the buying process to determine the probability of closing the sale.
  • Focus on reference from existing customers. Given the influence they can have over their friends/relatives, getting them to be the brand ambassadors would be of critical importance.
  • Lost customers may be recommending the brand. Therefore, continued engagement with a lost customer even for a short time is likely to be profitable.
  • It is clear the dealership represents limited influence in the buying process and the customers desire to spend limited time there. Therefore, the way to endear to the customer is to be highly efficient about the processes. Further, it is important to be on the final shortlist by the time the buyer is ready to test-drive.
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