Put Her in the Driver's Seat: Social Tools Empower Women's Car Buying Process

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BlogHer’s most recent study explores how women use social media to help make decisions during the car purchasing cycle. 

Methodology

In order to have a robust sample, the survey was fielded across two different populations online:

  • The BlogHer network (26 million women)
  • Total U.S. Online in 7 markets (Atlanta, Boston, NY, Chicago, Dallas, San Diego, Portland)
  • 1,090 total women aged 18-76
  • 377 total men aged 18-76

 

Social Media helps improve women’s emotional response while car shopping

We asked both men and women to describe their range of emotions while going through the automotive purchasing cycle.  Both genders listed “excited” as the primary emotion with men at 71% and women at 74%. Women were also more nervous (53%) during the process than men (42%) and less confident (30%) than men (37%).

However, when we filtered the same question results through those who had used either blogs or social networks to help with car information prior to purchase, the results were dramatically different.  Those women who used blogs for auto advice had their excitement level increase by +13%, while confidence for the blog users went up by a delta of +8 percentage points.  At the same time “nervous” and “stressed out” levels decreased somewhat among Blog users.  Women who used social networks for auto advice also had increased excitement and confidence levels.

Resources for informing and influencing automotive purchases for women

Visits to a car dealer and word-of-mouth advice still top the list when it comes to women gathering information to help with a car purchase. Auto manufacture sites and blog review sites both rank in the middle of the list for car purchase research.  Traditional media such as TV (15.5%) and new media favorite Facebook (16.5%) were both at the bottom of the list as resources for automotive information prior to a purchase.

Top 10 Resources for Car Research and Information:

When we asked women to rank the resources above according to which ones they considered the most influential, the results were quite different for a few of the entities.  Visit to a car dealer, word-of-mouth and car review sites still topped the influence list.  However auto manufacturer’s site dropped from 4th to last place, while blogs, mobile and Twitter all moved up the list in ranking.  Personal and interactive types of media have higher levels of trust and influence among women than corporate or brand websites.

Top 10 Resources for Influence:

Going Green Gets Higher Interest From Younger Women

Hybrid vehicles get the highest scores as the preferred type of environmentally friendly car for all women.  However among women 18-27, all types of “green” cars have a higher level of consideration.  Almost 40% of the younger women would consider an electric car, and less than 10% showed no interest at all in the “green” car category.


Key Takeaways for Automotive Manufacturers

  • Social Media helps women get excited to buy a new car; blogs help calm her nerves and increase her confidence.
  • Women still come to you: Your site, your dealership. Shape their experiences there
  • Bring them real user experiences: On your site and on theirs.
    • Be an aggregation point for women’s voices
    • Participate and become a part of a woman’s social graph

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