Quantcast report predicts continued move to digital retailing for the auto industry

A report from advertising technology company Quantcast, has predicted an increased digital retail model for the automotive industry after consumer behavioural changes due to COVID-19.

Entitled APAC Automotive Insights – Consumer Purchasing Preferences and Digital Patterns, the report details the current outlook on the automotive industry, and how the past year has impacted consumer approaches to purchasing vehicles.

The report’s data indicates that with COVID restricting physical travel, auto brands and dealerships have been forced to adopt and “intimately understand” the digital experiences they offer consumers, with more searching and buying from home.


Jacquelyn Cowardin

Quantcast ANZ’s recently appointed head of account management, Jacquelyn Cowardin, said: “Some brands are staying ahead of the game by enabling customers to have richer buying experiences entirely online. Nissan, for example, announced the launch of Nissan @ Home in December 2020, a digital platform allowing customers to conduct 100% of their purchase online, including test drives, financial arrangements, and more.

“This year is just the beginning of what looks like a trend of automotive digital retail rising in the region, with analysts predicting the APAC e-commerce market will hit $34.46 billion by 2026. It is now more important than ever for advertisers to know their customers. Understanding the auto buyer audience and their buying triggers and pathways help to reduce ad spend waste by reaching those most receptive to auto brands and most likely to buy.”

Listed were the five key consumer triggers when purchasing a car across the Asia Pacific:
1. Value is more important to most of today’s car buyers, even among the more affluent.
2. Interest triggers for luxury car buyers include investing, real estate, and family changes.
3. Younger prospects tend to start researching luxury car brands early on, years before they might be able to buy.
4. Internet users aged 45+ prefer using laptops and desktop for online research activities, indicating a preference for richer content experiences versus accessing information quickly using a mobile device.
5. Social distancing measures during COVID-19 as well as health concerns have changed the way consumers shop for vehicles. The auto decision-making process has quickened, with potential buyers booking test drives within shorter time frames than pre-pandemic.

The report found that with the onset of COVid-19, automotive sales slowed across the APAC region, however towards the end of the year, began to slowly recover, with recent behaviour showing consumers starting to increase purchasing as travel resumes.

Mumbrella’s Damian Francis, reported last month that 2020 was a tale of two halves for the auto industry, with sales down in Q1-Q3, however in the final quarter of the year,  sales surged as Australia became more comfortable with its pandemic position.

Another trend revealed in the report, was the continued rise of second-hand car sales, and the demand for low-emission vehicles, with Australians now paying almost 40% more than pre-pandemic prices for used cars.

Cowardin continued: “We know that today’s car buyer isn’t afraid to do their research, so it’s critical for automotive brands to have established digital paths that give prospective buyers the information they need at every stage of their purchasing journey.

“Leveraging AI and other technologies that reveal live audience behaviours can help auto brands reach more prospects and stand out from competing brands, while rich media formats create visually exciting digital experiences for people visiting auto sites.”

In addition to Cowardin’s recent appointment, Quantcast ANZ also announced Ilda Jamison as managing director last week. 


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