Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that businesses in the U.S. are set to spend a total of $700 million on fixing bad reviews. It turns out that this is money well-spent – especially for businesses in the automotive industry.
According to a newly released report by research firm eMarketer – with findings from a study by Digital Air Strike – 69 percent of car shoppers consider dealership review sites as an influential research tool that affects their purchase decisions.
Impact of Dealership Reviews (eMarketer and Digital Air Strike)
Furthermore, 14 percent said that online reviews were the only reason for their having decided to visit a dealership; 5 percent, meanwhile, decided to change their choice of car dealership after finding negative reviews of their initial choice. 38 percent of the respondents also indicated that the fact that a dealership had reviews in online review sites helped their decision in a general sense.
The eMarketer report underscored yet again the increasing business impact of online user-generated content. This time, it brought to light the urgency for car dealerships, auto parts retailers, detailing shops, service centers, and other businesses in the automotive industry to regularly track and monitor online reviews.
The study by Digital Air Strike also revealed that the top four car review sites influencing dealership selection are (in order): Edmunds at 22%, Cars.com at 20%, and Yelp and Google (Google Places / Google+ Local), both at 19%.