Google Think Auto 2018: A Quick Recap

Google Think Auto - Toronto Centre for the Arts, June 21, 2018
Google Think Auto – Toronto Centre for the Arts, June 21, 2018

June 21st was not only the summer solstice, it was also the day of Google’s 2018 Think Auto event. The scenery was a little different from the usual September setting, but we weren’t about to complain about the hot weather. Held at the Toronto Centre for the Arts for a second year in a row, the Google auto team did not disappoint with this year’s round of stats and insights!

The theme this year was tweaked from last year where they introduced the three main buyer personas. For a quick refresher, here they are again: First Time Buyers, Brand Loyalists, and Brand Switchers. The focus changed gears by looking at the ever increasing consumer expectations, and how we can target the different buyer mindsets: those who are not in the mindset of buying a car, those who are in the consideration mindset, and those who are in the buying mindset.

This year, Google surveyed 3,000 Canadian car buyers across the country to understand their automotive purchase experience and journey. Here is the high level run through of the latest stats from this year’s event:

  • Consumers have higher expectations than ever before
  • The purchase cycle has increased from 57 to 62 days, which breaks down into the following three categories:
    • 35 days thinking
    • 17 days researching
    • 10 days buying
  • 1 in 3 buyers pause their journey at some point for the following reasons:
    • Too busy
    • Had a tough time deciding what to buy
    • They wanted to make sure it was the right decision
  • 59% would consider a new car brand that didn’t exist before (think Tesla and Genesis)
  • 3 brands on average are being considered
  • Dealer visits are close to the same as last year, 2.9 on average with 1.6 test drives being completed
  • 84% would rely more on online research to reduce their dealer visits for their next purchase
  • 1 in every 2 buyers are frustrated with the dealership experience, most common issues were with sales staff and processing time
  • 46% are open to skipping the dealer paperwork and purchasing their vehicle online

We will have a more complete summary to follow with more detailed information and stats, so stay tuned! If you’re interested in checking out our 2017 Think Auto Blog while you wait, we’ve got you coveredĀ here. And always, thanks for staying up to date with the team at Strathcom Media.

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