Asia Pacific’s automotive industry was, like many others, hit with major multiple challenges during COVID-19. And while the road to recovery in Asia Pacific is still largely being mapped out, recent buying behaviour is showing that consumers are starting to increase vehicle purchases as they get back to traveling more.

What does the post-pandemic car buyer look like, and how are they converting across a newly emerging digital automotive purchasing landscape? 

The Age of Digital Auto Retail

With COVID restricting physical travel, it has become necessary for auto brands and dealerships to intimately understand the digital experiences they offer consumers, especially in a time when more people are browsing and buying from home. 

Digitally, today’s vehicle buyers have specific triggers and paths to purchase. Here are some insights into what today’s car buyer looks like.

  • Value is more important to most of today’s car buyers, even affluent ones.
  • Interest triggers for luxury car buyers include investing, real estate, and family changes.
  • Younger prospects tend to start researching luxury car brands early on, years before they might be able to buy.
  • Potential buyers aged 45 and above prefer using laptops and desktops for online research activities, indicating a preference for richer content experiences versus accessing information quickly using a mobile device.
  • Social distancing measures in the midst of COVID-19, as well as health concerns, have changed the way consumers shop for personal vehicles, with potential buyers taking up to 6 fewer days to book a test drive.

The Marketer’s Opportunity

As the auto industry starts chugging back to life, investing in your digital buying experience may serve to help you tap into an increasingly larger online audience. 

Here are a few strategies that automotive brands and retailers should consider in post-pandemic marketing plans.

  1. Know Who Your Buyers Are and What Triggers A Sale

Understanding your audiences and their buying triggers also helps to reduce ad spend waste by targeting those most receptive to your brand and most likely to buy. You can then use interest-based targeting to create the most effective messaging and drive conversions from your best buyers. Casting your ad radius to a wider pool of lifestyle interests–including real estate, family and parenting, and wedding-content publishers, for example–could help generate more traffic to your website.

  1. Create Digital Paths on Your Website

With more consumers choosing to research and buy cars online, it is now more important than ever for automotive brands and dealerships to have established digital paths that give prospects the information they need at every stage of their purchasing journey. Leveraging AI and other technologies that reveal live audience behaviors can help you reach more prospects and stand out from competing brands.

  1. Keep on Building Brand Awareness and Affinity

Start to build customer loyalty early to drive high lifetime value. While targeted campaigns can drive more conversions with a particular model, it is equally important to ensure you are continually building brand awareness among prospects researching early on for cars they aspire to buy later in life. 

  1. Create Exciting Digital Experiences to Drive Walk-Ins

Consider using rich media formats to create visually exciting digital experiences for people visiting your site. Amplify your messaging with measurable digital solutions that complement your offline offers to help drive customers into your showroom.

Learn What Else is in Store for the Asia Pacific Automobile Industry

Download the full Automotive Insights Pack and discover:

  • What global trends are influencing vehicle purchases in APAC
  • How today’s car buyers are converting across specific website pages on their path to booking a test drive
  • What the best-selling car models in Australia are and how they’re ranked against competing models
  • Other key insights and takeaways for marketers looking ahead in the industry