ONLINE DEMAND ON THE INCREASE
AutoGuru research shows online marketplaces are more important than ever for getting businesses in front of convenience-seeking customers
The rise in demand for online solutions continues to grow on a global scale across all industries, with 70 percent of customers stating that online marketplaces are a convenient way to research and shop. COVID-19 played a massive part here, with the number of customers now using marketplaces having increased by 36 percent since the end of 2019.
Throughout the peak of COVID, many parts of purchasing, owning and selling a car were taken online.
Thanks to the emergence of everything from research to virtual test drives and contact free deliveries, customers became very quickly used to doing everything online, including booking their cars for any services they might need.
AutoGuru says that its data is a good indicator of online marketplace adoption in the automotive services sector. The following observations were made by analysing 1.4 million vehicle quotes generated online from 23 March 2019 – 12 months prior to the first national COVID lockdown – to 20 May 2022.
The age of drivers as a percentage is getting younger. Comparing 2019 to 2022, 18 to 34 year old drivers increased by 17 percent, representing 42 percent of total visitors whereas drivers 55 years or older saw a decline of 13 percent and 35 to 54 year old drivers dropped seven percent overall.
The age of vehicles quoted online is also getting younger, confirming that marketplaces play an active role in helping consumers research dealer alternative servicing.
Thirteen percent of vehicles were five years or younger, 35 percent are five to 10 years old, 31 percent are aged 10 to 15 years and 21 percent are older than 15 years.
The most common tasks quoted online were Logbook and Basic Servicing (34 percent), Brakes (10 percent), Air-conditioning regas, Tyre replacements, Roadworthies and Pink Slips, Windscreen repairs, Wheel alignments, Batteries and Spark plugs.
AutoGuru says this shows that consumers are seeking online quotes for basic tasks that are easily identified, leaving the more complex tasks for qualified technicians to diagnose and repair when they see the vehicle in person.
The percentage of consumers that get an instant price and book online increased from 10 percent in 2019 to 13 percent in 2022, meaning that 87 percent (six in seven people) use online marketplaces to research, but still prefer to book workshops directly offline.
AutoGuru says it is clear that online marketplaces play an important role in helping businesses get in front of as many new customers as possible, not just to drive online bookings, but also to increase direct phone enquiries coming from customers researching online.
At the same time, it says having the ability to quote and book customers online 24/7 can bring real value to businesses, especially those that are time poor.
AutoGuru says instantly priced quotes convert 312 percent higher than estimates and 44 percent of consumers search and book after hours, which shows the importance of being online and bookable 24/7.
Also notable, the average booking value increased 14 percent in three years from $305.00 in 2019 ‘pre-COVID’ to $349.00 in 2022. AutoGuru says this is driven by an increase in labour rates since the beginning of 2020.
With 113,000 verified workshop reviews published online and 95 percent being four or five stars rated, AutoGuru says 98 percent of AutoGuru members viewed reviews as important to their business both online and offline, as they play a major part in a customer’s research journey.
To simplify membership for workshops, AutoGuru recently changed its business model from a commission per booking to fixed cost memberships that start from $99+GST per month, which it says makes it more affordable for businesses to get listed and attract new customers online.
For more information or to join AutoGuru, visit www.autoguru.com.au/memberships or call 07 5612 5343.
*The State of Online Marketplace Adoption – Mirakl