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Friedman-Swift Associates: Auto Dealership Loyalty Gains Momentum


car dealership (select to view enlarged photo)

Positive Customer Experience Drives More Traffic to Showrooms

CINCINNATI--Feb. 13, 2013: Nearly two-thirds -- 62 percent -- of new car buyers visit only the dealership they buy from and no other, according to research released today by Friedman-Swift Associates, an automotive marketing research firm.

"Not only do 62 percent of new car buyers not shop at any other dealership, but 66 percent of new car customers don't even look at other dealers' web sites," notes Jeff Friedman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Friedman-Swift Associates in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Stronger customer loyalty is perhaps the main reason cross-shopping is less frequent these days, notes Friedman.

"Twenty years ago, location, inventory selection and low prices were the three main reasons buyers chose a dealership," Friedman says. "Location still tops the list, but the second most important factor now is a shopper's previous experience with the store. Positive customer experience attracts more car buyers than either vehicle selection or low prices."

As the most important factor, location accounts for 47 percent of car buyers' decisions to shop a certain dealership. Positive customer experience accounts for 38 percent. Vehicle selection and low prices account for 32 and 29 percent, respectively.

Friedman-Swift Associates' research is based on 4,471 telephone interviews with new car buyers across the country in 2012.