According to a new study from Kelly Blue Book, conducted among in-market car buyers, 90% of online vehicle shoppers would prefer to view actual photos of new vehicles currently on the dealer’s lot than view stock photography of a vehicle they are interested in buying.


In other words, customers want to see exactly what they would be buying.

While it may not be much of a surprise that when it comes to purchasing a used vehicle, viewing photos of the exact vehicle, its options, condition and mileage help a potential buyer make a purchase decision, the study also found that when it comes to buying a new vehicle, shoppers want the same thing.

New or used, in-market shoppers want to see photos of the exact vehicle on a dealer’s lot prior to driving to the dealership.

In fact, 74% of car shoppers say they are more likely to visit a dealership if they are able to view a picture of an actual vehicle currently available on the lot, rather than stock photography. What’s more, 53% would be more likely to buy that particular vehicle.

All of this could be a problem, because today most dealerships use stock photography of new vehicles to showcase current model-year vehicles.

"The online automotive shopping and buying process must continue to evolve," said Mike Romano of Kelley Blue Book.

A company statement cited recent research showing that nearly 70% of new car shoppers are turning to the Internet for research. Nearly half of these shoppers visit at least one dealership Web site during the research process, making the information found there crucial to new customer acquisition.

More here.