Car Purchase Experience

How can a consumer research agency help optimise the role of the car retailer as customer buying patterns alter?



The behaviour and expectations of automotive customers are changing. Recognising this, our client compiled a detailed document to guide their international retailers through the new customer journey experience.

Before rolling these guidelines out around the globe, they wanted to validate their approach by using our customer journey research skills to check the all-important consumers’ point of view.


Our research approach centred around understanding individual journeys and hearing customer truths. Above all, we needed to explore customer experiences and understand their authentic emotional responses in the moment, avoiding post-purchase rationalisation that often clouds the memory.

We conducted longitudinal interviews with individuals in the market for a new car, from initial information gathering through to post-handover. We used face-to-face contact at home and on accompanied retailer trips, on-line catch-ups via WhatsApp, e-mails and phone chats. We listened to shopper experiences and tested reactions to specific service propositions.

As research specialists, we are naturally curious and the result of our curiosity in this case was a new way forward for the client.


Our research identified target customer types and we created films that brought each of these to life. These communicated the real customer needs, not just at HQ, but across the retail network.

Our films showcased the need for personalised purchase experiences and highlighted why the company’s new processes should go well beyond a one-size-fits-all solution. As a result, the client refocused their retail approach and used our output to help train customer-facing staff throughout the network.

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