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Personalised, detailed and accurate email correspondence identified as crucial to building car buyer trust during lockdowns

  • Email leads once again overtake telephone calls in lockdown #3
  • 77% of buyers react well to follow-up emails with vehicle info and prices
  • 71% of buyers appreciate email responses outside of working hours

02 February 2021: With lockdown restrictions forcing car retailers and buyers to communicate remotely, research from eBay Motors Group has identified what consumers are looking for to build trust in these relationships.

Since the first lockdown in March 2020, eBay Motors Group has seen a consistent pattern in buyer behaviour whenever government restrictions require dealer showrooms to close, with email enquiries overtaking call enquiries. In line with this trend, the research reveals the increased importance of informative and professionally written responses when liaising with consumers.

Over three-quarters of car buyers visiting Motors.co.uk (77%) said they expected follow-up emails to phone conversations to contain information and prices on the vehicles they had been searching online.

The same percentage expected email correspondence to be personalised, while 73% expect it to be grammatically correct and spell checked.

The research of in-market visitors to Motors.co.uk was conducted over the course of December 2020 when national and regional Covid lockdowns and restrictions were in force throughout the UK.

Buyers also appreciated timely responses, with 71% saying they would favour dealers who replied outside of working hours. While 69% appreciated those dealers who emailed them back within 15 minutes.

"The importance of maintaining effective and timely email communication is vital for dealers in this lockdown retail environment, where relationship building face-to-face is not an option. Our research highlights that every little detail counts and could play a significant role in helping a dealer win business," said Dermot Kelleher, head of marketing and research at eBay Motors Group.

"Buyers attach real importance to informative, personalised and timely email responses, presented in a professional manner. Without the benefit of meeting customers in person it is now increasingly important to build a rapport remotely through emails," he said.

Data source: eBay Motors Group Consumer Sentiment Survey. Onsite survey on Motors.co.uk over the course of December 2020. Sample size: 285 respondents.