Nine of 10 vehicle shoppers used the internet to shop for the brand and model of vehicle before deciding which to purchase, according to the J.D. Power 2021 Thailand Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study,SM released today. The study finds that a manufacturer's website and YouTube videos are more often used as a key source for gathering vehicle information.
The study also finds that a manufacturer's website is the most reliable source for accurate information and that use of a website chatbot can positively affect satisfaction. Satisfaction increases 6 points (on a 1,000-point scale) among those who had an online chat (878) than those who did not have an online chat (854).
Among those who conducted all or part of their vehicle shopping online, 68% said they knew the exact model they would like to buy before visiting a dealership. On average, it took 53 days from the beginning of the online research/shopping experience to the close of the sale.
However, satisfaction among shoppers who began the sales process online averages 854 while satisfaction among those who did not do any online research and shopping is 878. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of online shoppers say they pay more attention to the best deal or lowest price when comparing dealers.
"Online searching before visiting a dealership has drastically increased," said Manenatta Jirasevijinda, regional lead of the automotive practice in SEA TW AUS at NielsenIQ. "Dealers need to understand a shopper's expectation and know how to connect the purchase journey from online to offline in order to deliver the best experience for customers."
Following are additional key findings of the 2021 study:
- Buyers less satisfied when dealing with sales consultants: Satisfaction averages 856 among the 90% of buyers who said a sales consultant closed the deal, but satisfaction increases to 869 when buyers dealt directly with a manager.
- Well-managed dealership increases satisfaction: Nearly two-thirds (62%) of buyers says they had a test drive. On average, buyers waited only 14 days for the new vehicle to be delivered after the sale. Satisfaction averaged 864 if the vehicle delivery process took less than 30 minutes and averaged 853 if the delivery process took longer than 30 minutes. Nearly half (47%) said they had a phone call later with the dealership to explain the vehicle's features.
- Buyers not yet ready for purely online sales experience: A significant percentage of buyers said they do not plan on using online capabilities during their next vehicle purchase. For example, only 54% said they would go online to explore vehicle research, while 57% planned to book a test drive online and 42% would order a vehicle online. Nine of 10 (90%) buyers said the key elements of their future transaction—deal negotiation, final paperwork and payment—would be done offline.
Honda ranks highest with an overall satisfaction score of 859 and performs well in two of the six factors: working out the deal; and delivery process. Ford, Mazda and MG rank second in a tie, each with a score of 858.
The 2021 Thailand Sales Satisfaction Index (SSI) Study measures overall sales satisfaction based on six factors (in order of importance): brand website (21%); dealership facility (18%); delivery process (17%); working out the deal (16%); sales consultant (14%); and paperwork completion (13%).
The study is based on responses from 2,621 new-vehicle owners, who purchased their vehicle from March through December 2021. The study was fielded from September 2021 through January 2022.
J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. A pioneer in the use of big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithmic modeling capabilities to understand consumer behavior, J.D. Power has been delivering incisive industry intelligence on customer interactions with brands and products for more than 50 years. The world's leading businesses across major industries rely on J.D. Power to guide their customer-facing strategies. J.D. Power has offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
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