Identifying Consumer Car Preferences Drives Faster Sales


Visiting a dealer showroom to start the search for new models and options is a thing of the past for many consumers looking to buy or lease a vehicle.  In today’s digital world, many auto shoppers conduct their research online and do much of their decision making before ever setting foot in the dealership showroom.

So what does that mean for dealers?  The obvious answer is that dealers must change how they interact with car shoppers and find ways to better identify and connect with target customers early in the car buying process. They may have never met or spoken to the customer, so knowing more about their digital audience is critical to delivering a smooth and successful shopping and buying experience. Dealers must find innovative ways to better understand online shopper’s car preferences as well as their capacity to purchase in order to match the right car to the right buyer. Dealers who master the art of servicing their online car shopping audience effectively will ultimately drive the best traffic to their showroom and move more metal off the lot.

Keeping up with consumer car preferences

Understanding what consumers want is key for both dealers and OEMs.  Dealers want to know how to treat their prospects so they can best position their marketing and advertising dollars and offer the right vehicles to their target audience.  Meanwhile, OEMs are looking to get in the heads of today’s auto shoppers so they can tailor their advertising and new product development in order to create the sensational demand for their line of vehicles.

Most dealers and OEMs tap into various resources to try to get an understanding of consumers’ vehicle preferences.  However, most of these resources don’t go beyond demographics and life-stage metrics which tends to make huge groups of auto shoppers look the same even though there are critical differences between their interests, spending capacity and most importantly, their likelihood to make a vehicle purchase.

For example, there is a big difference between these two empty-nesters:  one that is just getting by with high credit utilization versus another empty nester that has a great deal of retirement income and wants to be as trendy as his grandkids.  Here’s another one:  the young couple that is just starting at blue-collar jobs versus the ubiquitous DINKs (Double Income No Kids) – these couples are very likely to have different vehicle preferences.

High octane insight:  Consumer economic capacity

It’s not just about demographics when it comes to big-ticket purchases; it’s about consumers’ financial and economic capacity to purchase and how they spend.  After all, filling out the dealer’s inquiry form that you’re interested in the new super-cool, ultra-luxury model doesn’t mean you’ll ever own it.

Having insight on households’ likely income, spending, use of credit, and other financial habits can give dealers a leg up on getting to the sale faster – and IXI Services’, a division of Equifax, has those insights.  By combining likely economic capacity with demographics and other shopping behaviors, IXI Services helps dealers and OEMs quickly prioritize all of those online inquiries, emails, texts, and chat sessions.  At the end of the day, the dealers can better match shoppers’ true buying potential and preferences with the right models that the dealer has in inventory.

Now the dealer knows how to connect with the shopper and the sale is made:  the ‘barely getting by’ empty nester gets the basic vehicle, while the ‘loaded with retirement income’ empty nester gets the trendy but safe car with the premium service package.  The ‘just starting out’ young couple gets the lower cost, environmentally friendly car, while the DINKS get the ultra-cool sports car.  Click here to find out more about IXI’s findings on households’ ideal car preferences.

Learn more about how Equifax can help you power your marketing and sales efforts with insight on households’ likely economic capacity.  Contact us today at 1-800-879-1025 or visit


IXI Services products were not developed or intended to be used for the extension of credit to any individual, nor may they be used for purposes of determining an individual’s creditworthiness or for any other purpose contemplated under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.