What’s Steering Automotive Shopping? New Research from Onbe Reveals Going Digital is Key to Driving Success


Report shows going digital is a must as 86% of auto buyers are shopping online, and digital incentives can accelerate sales

CHICAGO & PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Onbe, a fast-growing corporate disbursements platform with over 25 years of payments experience counting 11 of the world’s leading automotive brands as clients, released a new U.S. study closely examining consumer automotive shopping behaviors. Surveying more than 1,000 Americans between 18 and 99 years old in August of 2021, the study found that providing seamless digital experiences, from shopping to incentives, is the key to driving purchasing action.

In 2020, millennials bought 32% of new cars, surpassing Baby Boomers for the first time. Onbe’s 2021 study found that 68% of under-30 consumers plan to purchase or lease a vehicle in the next 18 months, proof that younger millennials are rapidly gaining buying power.

“The millennial generation expects to have seamless digital experiences whenever and however they engage with brands, so to win their business, automotive brands need to be ready to offer digital automotive incentives, too,” said Tracy Monson, Senior Vice President of Product at Onbe. “To maintain momentum and loyalty, auto dealers can utilize incentives to enhance the in-person buying experience and encourage consumers to not only buy now but keep coming back for maintenance and secondary purchases.”

  • 86% of auto-buyers will comparison shop online before kicking the tires, and 72% of them would be willing to purchase digitally, marking the need for sellers and dealerships to meet purchasers where they are shopping—online.
  • 80% of buyers would consider purchasing a different make or model if their desired choice wasn’t available or was priced higher than they wanted to pay. This highlights the opportunity for brands to win new customers, and for both online sellers and dealerships to incentivize buyers to check out their inventories.
  • 86% of younger Millennial buyers—those under 30—would be motivated to service their auto at the dealership for just 10% off their service for the first year or a $15 reward for each scheduled maintenance service.
  • If given a $100 incentive for buying a vehicle, more than 50% said they would be most likely to spend that reward on vehicle maintenance or accessories—giving dealers the opportunity to drive repeat business.

Not only are incentives a proven way to reward brand loyalty, but with the right incentive manufacturers and dealerships also have the power to shift consumer spend away from their preferred brands, win new customers, and drive sales even when selection is low.

Download an automotive whitepaper with key survey findings here. The survey findings will be discussed in a live webinar to be held on October 5, at 1:00 p.m. eastern, featuring Tracy Monson, Senior Vice President of Product at Onbe, and Don Apgar, Director of the Merchant Acquiring advisory practice at Mercator Advisory Group. Click here to register for the webinar.


Onbe, with offices in Chicago, Philadelphia and London, creates engaging corporate disbursement experiences on behalf of modern brands for consumers, workforces and marketplaces, delivering value beyond currency. Backed by top-tier investors and with over 25 years of industry experience, Onbe’s team of experts and purpose-built payment issuing platform seamlessly connect brands to their constituents around the world. www.onbe.com


Sydney Poteet



About Author

Barb Rogers

Barb has worked within the digital advertising and marketing space for over 20 years. Over the years, she found it difficult to find information on the simplest of subjects tied to the digital marketing space, so she decided to embark on a journey to create a space that others may appreciate.

Comments are closed.