Nearly 70 percent of recent car buyers said review sites influenced where they shopped, according to a new study by Digital Air Strike.

The bi-annual study of more than 1,500 car buyers and 600 dealerships assessed the role of online review sites and social media in the car buying process.  Of car buyers surveyed, 67% reported using a review site when selecting a dealer. (55%), Edmunds (50%) and Google+ Local (40%) were the most frequented review sites; however, Yelp (14%) and Yahoo! Local (11%) were also reported.

“For a while, we’ve heard dealers ask the question, ‘Where should I focus my efforts with reviews?’ said  Lauren Beaubien, Solutions Manager, Dealer Reviews, “We’ve continued to stress the importance of managing your reputation on any site consumers use to shop for vehicles in your area.”

The study also stressed the significance of having both current and positive reviews. Of those surveyed, 70% said that they’d be more likely to shop at the dealership with the most recent reviews, if competing dealers had equal star ratings. Moreover, an astounding one in three shoppers reported that they’d drive 50 miles or more to shop at a dealership with positive online reviews.

When looking at the social component of the study, Digital Air Strike reported that, on average, more than three quarters of dealers’ Facebook fans live within a 50-mile radius of the dealership, making Facebook a valuable customer retention tool.  Service discounts, reviews from consumers and car-care tips were listed as some of the most valuable types of consumer-friendly content.

To learn more about this study, sign up for a Digital Air Strike’s free webinar on November  13th. Additionally, you can take charge of your dealership’s online reputation today by accessing the reputation management resources available within Dealer Center and checking out the related articles on DealerADvantage via the links below.

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