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6 Crucial Moments on the New Car Buying Journey That Every Auto Dealer Should Know

two lane road under cloudy skies

It’s no secret that the automotive buying journey has changed drastically over the last several years. Now, the car buying process is more digital than ever, with numerous interactions occurring between a shopper and a car dealer before purchase.

Google divides these interactions into several different micro-moments. These are the key moments where dealers can connect with potential customers to build stronger relationships and sell more cars.

Moments BOF Infographic



1.Which-car-is-best moments

In the first phase of the buying process, shoppers begin preliminary research on what kinds of cars are available. They may search for terms like “best SUV” and “best cars for large families.” From there, they can start to narrow down their searches. They will likely end up visiting manufacturer websites and reading customer reviews.



2. Is-it-right-for-me moments

Next, shoppers consider whether the cars they are looking at actually suit their needs and lifestyle. They will spend more time on manufacturer websites, performing more in-depth research on specific vehicles. They will look closely at specifications and features and may watch walk-around videos rather than visiting a dealership. This will give them a better idea of if each car is worth serious consideration. To reach these customers, make sure you have as much information as possible about each car on your website.



3. Can-I-afford-it moments

When shoppers have a good idea of the make and model they want, they will then think about the financial implications. If their budget is limited, they will spend a good amount of time looking for deals. Searches at this point will include “Manufacturer 1 deals” and “best Car X price.” When possible, advertise any promotions, deals, or new financing options you offer. Place this information on your website, and promote it on your social channels as well.



4. Where-should-I-buy-it moments

When they have decided that they love a car and can afford it, shoppers will now look for a place they can actually buy it. They will search for things like “Manufacturer 1 dealer near me” and “Car Y for sale.” At this point, they will find and visit dealerships that have the car they want available. For this reason, it is essential that you keep your inventory up to date and in front of the shoppers who are looking for it.



5. Am-I-getting-a-deal moments

At this point, shoppers will actually visit dealer lots. However, before they make the final purchase, they will do one last check online to make sure they are getting the best deal. These searches will include terms like “2022 Manufacturer 1 Make Z good lease price.” If they are able to confirm they are paying a reasonable price, they will move forward to execute the purchase.



6. Purchase

Once they make sure they are getting a good value, shoppers will finally make their purchase and drive home in their new car. For dealers, the journey does not end here. It is equally important to follow up with each customer to ensure a great purchasing experience that will lead them to leave positive reviews and recommend your dealership to their family and friends.


To take advantage of each of these important micro-moments, you need to have a digital presence every step of the way. With precise targeting and a proprietary audience of active shoppers, ZeroSum can help you do this. Book a demo today to see how easy it is to let ZeroSum run your paid advertising and sell more cars.


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