CarGuru: Car Sites Need More Videos, Fewer Facts

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Carmakers should add more flash and trash to their web sites. Words of wisdom from CEO Langley Steinart. Speaking with Advertising Age [sub], Steinart asserted that a six-month study of shoppers on his website indicated that 62 percent of pages viewed consisted of photos and videos. Based on this info, he uncategorically concludes that online shoppers "first and foremost want videos." He was shocked (shocked I tell you) to discover that car-shopping web surfers have to read automakers' websites to glean information about a car. "You have to fall in love with the car visually. Are you going to fall in love over braking power?" Regarding the science behind his study, Mr. Steinart admits he has no way of knowing his site's demographics– other than they "cut across all ages." The Guru-in-Chief also couldn't say how may visitors to his site are shopping for a vehicle (instead of reading editorials and blogs or looking for parts, accessories or automotive epiphanies). With his ability to make leaps of logic in a single bound, we reckon Steinart has a bright future in marketing research.

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  • Timoted Timoted on Oct 13, 2007

    Exactly how much information does one extract from a "video of a blonde driving the make/model/year of a particular vehicle" that the consumer is interested in? Do you get all the information you need or do get the impulse to buy because of the video. Do you get information from some crappy flash or pop-up of your car on a closed course do not attempt? I laugh at every one of those stupid videos because it's soul purpose is to have you impulse buy. (he looks like he's having fun, I want the fun too) The sad part is it forces sales to those who normally wouldn't buy the vehicle and in 18 months the car ends up getting repossessed. Ask your local bank how many time they've seen that happen. I guess at that point it shouldn't matter since it's bank's issue and not the dealership or the mfg's problem anymore. Many people buy the wrong vehicle because of impulse or emotional buys. They end up buying too much car or more car than they can afford and get in over their head. Does this sound familiar? The mortgage industry is learning their lesson right now. Fly-by-night mortage companies popped up like lawn thistle and look whats happened to them and their customers thanks to flash and dazzle-get'em in the door and out tatics. Insane loans that never should have been made. Instead of looking at the practicality of a purchase. Buying the right vehicle for the customer based on information. Call it a "transportation consultant" approach. Oh wait but then again that doesn't move iron, its the low payment.

  • AGR AGR on Oct 14, 2007

    As vehicles reach parity, have the same features, the same options for a specific market segment, and increasingly become commoditised. Comparing features tells the same story to a prospective customer. In entry level luxury as an example, a C Class, 3 Series, A4, IS, CTS, G35 in essence all have the same features, the same power levels, the same warranties. Its not major differences, its nuances and how its presented to the market, potential customers. The make it more competitive, every manufacturer is on a mission to steal business from the other with financial incentives. Even those are similar, so much down, such a rate, and so on. You cannot compare automotive financing to mortgages, automotive financing is more transparent. Even a new model has an "upside" of only 12 to 18 months in the market, and if it does not win hearts and minds there is no "upside". Manufacturers puposely come out with models to interfere with another manufacturer, launch models at the same time. Toyota builds a plant in Texas for the Tundra, on the TV ads this pick up is incredible, the components are bigger, better, will last longer than the competition, its all there, its a better truck. Anyone in the market for a pick up should have immediately run to a Toyota dealer to get this truck with bigger components, its really a 3/4 ton camouflaged as a 1/2 ton at the price of a 1/2 ton, its an increadible deal, and value.

  • Schempe Schempe on Oct 14, 2007

    timoted: I agreee with about 95% of what you have presented here. AGR: After reading through this entire thing you have contradicted yourself on more than one occasion. To say that automotive financing is more transparent does not add up in the context of this discussion. I believe timoted's point being that while there certainly are differences in autombile lending when compared to home lending there are certainly lessons to be learned. Specifically, if you've paid any attention to the media. The media has repeatedly shown that people did not fully understand what they were getting into when they signed on the bottom line. Most cases it was a scenario with those with less than perfect credit getting a home that was more house than they bargained for. Teased by the introductory rate and not understanding what would happen in the future. Yes, payment does move anything but, that's where AGR's argument starts to fall apart. One of the key factors in a strong economy is for consumers to have confidence in the economy. They are more likely to have confidence if they walk away knowing that they got a good product at a fair price based on the information presented to them in a clear and concise manner. If you don't believe me ask anyone who has leased a vehicle for 60 or even 72 months and has tried to get out of their lease early. I think timoted's statement that knowledge is power is very true. Today most manufacturer's want their customers to be educated however, it usually is diluted by executives and advertising agencies. While that rings true in almost all consumer products, it is almost always enhanced when it comes to major purchases. Timoted - I bet I can find you working hard for a consumer group. One who sticks up for the underdog. I say good for you! AGR - There seems to be a lot of conjecture in your argument. My only guess for you is that I would find you at a used car lot wearing a cheap polyester suit. Nobody likes to feel like they've been taken advantage of especially when it comes to a major purchase such as a home or vehicle. Even you AGR.

  • AGR AGR on Oct 14, 2007

    schempe, its a great big world and everyone is entitled to their opinion. Anyone that is not comfortable executing financial paperwork at any dealer should simply step back. A 60 or 72 month lease on a vehicle is ridiculous from the outset, does not make sense, and should not make sense to anyone. The "polyester suits" is old and overused. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, and your perspective.