Majority of Visitors to Auto Dealership Websites Are Brand New Prospects, According to New Study from PERQ

Conventional wisdom is that dealer websites are used primarily by existing customers – not true: 74% of websites visitors are new to dealership; new PERQ insights also reveal how consumer preferences such as test drives, drivetrain and interior space impact decisions



Indianapolis, IN –March 13, 2018 - New data from thousands of consumer profiles studied by PERQ, experts in online consumer engagement and behavior, offers further evidence that the majority of visitors to dealership websites are hot new prospects who need to be guided into conversion. The research also offers key insights into the features consumers value as they make their car purchase decisions.


The new study, Car Buyer Insights Report 2018, defies the conventional wisdom that most dealership website visitors are existing customers. The reality? They are not: 74% are brand new– and 68% are still looking for information to educate them about the purchase, representing prime opportunities for conversion. But, according to the data, while 77% are at the beginning or middle of their purchasing process, they want to transact sooner rather than later, so an efficient, engaging website experience that guides them down the purchase funnel is critical. 


Have You Purchased From Us Before?

74% - No

26% - Yes


In an Ideal Scenario, When Will You Be Ready to Buy?

34% - Now

27% - Within 2 weeks

17% - Within a month

14% - Within 90 days

8% - Not anytime soon 


“We are constantly monitoring consumer website behavior and the data continues to confirm how important it is that dealerships approach their website as fertile ground for new sales, rather than as a static receptacle for returning customers,” said Andy Medley, CEO and Co-founder of PERQ.  “The data shows that most website visitors are new to the dealership, not ready-to-buy, and expect to be in control of their shopping experience as they narrow down their choices.”


The research also offers key insights on consumer preferences that can help dealership websites better interact with these visitors, such as data on the number of cars they want to test drive (nearly a third want to test drive more than one), and what they are looking for in a drivetrain — an astonishing 59% said four-wheel or all-wheel drive is a priority. In addition, the research reveals that, apart from safety, the most important feature in their prospective vehicle is interior space, which outweighs fuel economy, performance and technology, which was by far the least important feature.


Besides Safety, What Else is Important to You When Buying a Vehicle?

36% - Interior Space

31% - Performance

28% - Fuel Economy

6% - Technology


“It’s critical for dealerships to expect their website to act as one of their best sales team members,” continued Medley.  “If they don’t, they are missing a massive opportunity, and letting all those dollars spent driving traffic turn into vapor.”


PERQ is known for its award-winning website technology that assists consumers in their decision making and guides them through the shopping process. Unlike other software, PERQ’s online guided shopping solution leverages consumer behavior data to serve up the next best step in the shopping process, increasing online engagement.  

The company won multiple awards in 2017 for its software solution, including Product of the Year in the Big Business Awards and a Silver Best in Biz Award for Small or Medium Business Service of the Year. The product’s success is also reflected in an over 78% increase in new clients and a tripling of revenues YOY. Most importantly, customer results were significant including generating on average 30% more leads, 15% higher close rate and 5% increase in gross profit from PERQ leads.

To read the full report, click here.


Study Methodology

PERQ reviewed consumer data captured from thousands of leads over 3 months, from a sampling of 350 auto dealership clients. Data is collected via all types of lead formats, and during all phases of the consumer journey in order to provide a more clear and targeted view of important consumer buying and research preferences.


About PERQ

PERQ (, a software provider that boosts website conversions by creating and delivering interactive, personalized experiences to the right consumers at the right time. Founded in 2001, PERQ solutions are used by more than 1,000 businesses across the United States. PERQ’s brands have been named to the Inc. “500 Fastest Growing Companies in America” list on three separate occasions, and PERQ Web Engagement is a 2017 Gold Stevie® Award winner for lead generation software.


PERQ Media Contacts

Melanie Webber, mWEBB Communications, or 949-307-1723

Cassandra Cavanah, mWEBB Communications, or 818-397-4630

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