Consumers Look for Familiarity, Location, Trust in Auto Service

Published in CSP Daily News

But increasingly respond to good deals, says NPD

HOUSTON -- For do-it-for-me (DIFM) auto service consumers, familiarity with a service outlet, convenient location and trust are the top three reasons they select an auto service provider, and while price ranks lower, consumers are increasingly looking for a good deal, according to car care research by The NPD Group, a leading market research company.

Since the recession, consumer attitudes and behaviors continue to be focused on value and these deal-driven consumers are exerting their influence in the automotive service sector, NPD reported.

Automotive retailers and manufacturers have addressed this consumer mindset at retail with heavy promotions, including free filter with oil purchase, mail-in rebates, two-for-one pricing and other deals--and consumers have responded.

According to NPD's Car Care Track, which monitors purchase behavior details of the "do-it-yourself" and DIFM auto aftermarket and repair consumer, 35% of DIFM automotive service transactions were purchased on deal or at a special price, up significantly from only 30% in 2007 (31% in 2008, 33% in 2009 and 33% in 2010).

And while familiarity with the outlet, location and trust remain the most important drivers of outlet choice, NPD reported that 14% of DIFM consumers say a special offer or coupon influenced their decision to choose the outlet on their latest service occasion.

"Consumers will continue to select auto service outlets based on their familiarity with the outlet, its location, and their trust of the service, but price matters too," said David Portalatin, NPD's auto aftermarket industry analyst. "In today's demanding environment, more do-it-for-me consumers are expecting the best of both worlds: they want to know they are investing in quality service and feel like they got a bargain at the same time."
The NPD Group, Houston, is a leading provider of consumer and retail information for a wide range of industries, including automotive, beauty, entertainment, fashion, food, home and office, sports, technology, toys, video games and wireless.