Automotive Shoppers Are Mobile Shoppers

Auto shoppers are using computers and mobile devices -- both smartphones and tablets -- to research cars and trucks.

About 79% of new-vehicle buyers use the Internet to get the skinny on the vehicles they are considering and to make that list longer -- most of the time.

This year’s Autoshopper Study from J.D. Power finds that 50% of automotive shoppers are open to any brand at the outset of their shopping process, which increases to 54% among Gen Y. The firm says nearly half of Gen Y use smartphones in their shopping process, which is more than any other demographic.

Arianne Walker, senior director of automotive media and marketing at the firm, said brands should be focusing on the younger demographic -- as they are becoming a bigger and bigger slice of the buyer pie, at this point about 20% of all retail sales. "Automotive manufacturers have a great opportunity to influence these buyers during their shopping process, particularly since so many of them begin the process fairly open minded,” she said in a release.

She added that marketers should be thinking about mobile ads, content and apps, since half of Gen Y buyers are using mobile  devices to shop. Tablet and smartphone usage has jumped 39% and 15% for the devices, respectively, among automotive Internet users. The study also finds that almost all auto shoppers are using the Internet to visit manufacturer sites during their shopping process, followed by dealer sites and third-party sites. They hit social media sites for pricing, ratings, reviews, and comparisons.

The favorite sites are Consumer Reports, Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book among auto shoppers. The study says auto shoppers visit these sites more often than the other 33 third-party Web sites measured in the study.

All told, people using the Internet to shop cars go to 10 sites on average -- third-party, dealer and manufacturer.

"Young Woman Shopping for Car" photo from Shutterstock.
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