The 800lb gorilla can move a shopper away from the AT/Cars step (thats the GOAL of the Gorilla!). The in-market shopper is in a multi-week journey and are vunerable especially when they're on the UPSLOPE!
Charting The Internet Car Shopper Experience | DealerRefresh
Another way to say the same thing would be... if the local market has no 800lb gorilla the Google>>Cars>>AT path is used more often.
Case in point. 2 questions from my post sale survey (6000 surveys completed in 2010).
Do you consider yourself a frequent internet user (more than 10 hours per week)?
....Yes = 75.44%
....No = 24.56%
Not bad. Sounds about like the normal demo. Ok, then look at Question#15
Did you shop online at: (check all that apply)
....None of these
Guess the rank of these and the percent each site took.(ie craigslist 9%) C'mon Guess! (answers at bottom)
The 800lbGorilla won't suck much traffic from Cars or AT. BUT! The Gorilla has a recognized brand that an AT/Cars shopper recognizes. This "Dealer brand comfort" or "brand history" can be seen in a higher CTR (see my CTR comment above). I'd love to see an interview of local shoppers. List 25-100 dealers (that are on AT/Cars). Ask them to circle the names they know. Answer? Most all dealers are unknown except the largest gorillas (hence the critical importance of Dealer Reviews!) All I am saying is a 800lb gorilla with a great message can see more clicks from AT and Cars shoppers (its just human nature).
Now... to come full circle. IF the Cars/AT reviews are placed in a very visible position in the SRPs, that'll wack the Gorillas CTR (and everyone else with a low score). That'll tip the scales favorably for shopper AND for pro-active dealer.
I have not seen the final Review presentation as seen by shoppers for Cars/AT. I can't imagine AT/Cars ignoring a way to strike some balance to bring quality reviews to the platform, yet not piss off its advertisers (with "sloppy operations" ;-)
All I am trying to say is not everyone buys a car traveling down the same path. The 800lb gorilla will always get his share of bananas.