It’s no secret that the Internet has changed the way consumers shop for cars. Buyers are more educated than ever and can locate information related to vehicles in mere seconds. Moreover, the public has become accustomed to documenting and sharing their entire car buying experience with the world by leaving public comments on social networks and user review sites.

So, where do these buyer reviews typically appear?

Earlier this week, Auto Remarketing shared the results of a recent study that ranked the most popular review websites used by consumers to select and vet dealerships prior to purchase. The study was completed by digital marketing company Digital Air Strike as part of their 2012 Automotive Dealership Social Media and Online Reputation Study. According to the article, the report “found that 22 percent of respondents turned to Edmunds in selecting a dealership, while 20 percent used Finishing in a tie for third were Yelp and Google Reviews, both of which were at 19 percent.”

An even more telling statistic from the study: 69% of consumers said dealership reviews influenced their decision to visit certain dealers.













Additional findings from the study are available here.

What does this mean for dealerships? Sales and marketing practices need to evolve in order to meet the needs and tech savvy of the modern car buyer. While word-of-mouth and referrals are just as important as ever, it’s important to determine how social media and user review sites can be monitored and incorporated into your overall strategy.