Price transparency is first consumer priority: survey

CarGurus, a popular online automobile listings site, has found that trust is a decisive factor among Canadians when shopping for automobiles, real estate and other costly purchases.

Price transparency ranked as the highest priority among respondents to the CarGurus survey.

According to the survey, trust levels among Canadian car buyers stand at nine per cent, second-last on the list to obtaining a mortgage which garnered the least trust among respondents with seven per cent.

The more transparent and reputable a website, the more likely consumers will be inclined to make a major purchase, with 73 per cent of respondents noting that trust and transparency are much more important to shoppers than its speed, design, efficiency and shareability.

When determining whether a website was trustworthy, almost half of those surveyed relied on customer reviews while 31 per cent decided by word of mouth.

Negative customer reviews factored in to almost half of the 1,000 respondents’ sense of a site’s transparency and trustworthiness when positive and negative reviews appeared together.

Providing a detailed cost breakdown was voted by 23 per cent of the randomly picked survey participants to be a way for vendors to increase buyer trust and transparency. And almost a third said that discovering a higher price at the point of purchase than was advertised online, would cause them to lose trust in the dealer.

“Establishing trust goes a long way with consumers, particularly those making big purchases,” said Sarah Welch, SVP of Consumer Marketing.

“In our experience at CarGurus, we’ve seen just how much transparency – providing reliable, easily accessible customer reviews, engaging with negative reviews and keeping updated price information across online inventory platforms – enhances the consumer shopping experience, and in turns benefits dealers.”

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