User Generated Content Does a Huge Role in Online Auto Shopping

According to a recent Yahoo! Autos study, 85 percent of online shoppers consider consumer generated content, particularly ratings and reviews, to be a key element in their research process when shopping for a new vehicle.

Yahoo! Autos commissioned J.D. Power and Associates to determine how and to what extent auto shoppers use consumer-generated information, opinions, images and video in their vehicle purchases. The findings demonstrated that online shoppers are tapping into the insights of other online users to help them make a more informed decision when buying a new vehicle. While consumer ratings and reviews were found to be the most helpful, users also found other types of content helpful. They turn to auto enthusiast sites, online forums/message boards, question and answer sites, and blogs to find additional information such as pricing, features and specifications and product reliability/dependability information.

The study confirmed that consumers would welcome auto manufacturer participation in online discussions about their products as long as they were clearly identified. Users also felt that ongoing manufacturer interaction in consumer forums could allow for early detection and response to potential product issues and customer issues.

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