Some 50% of both smartphone and tablet users have made automotive-related purchases through a mobile app or a Web browser, according to findings released Tuesday.
xAd and Telmetrics released the automotive findings of their Mobile Path to Purchase Study revealing that mobile ad spending in the automotive category rose nearly 375% from Q2 2011 to Q2 2012. It also identifies a 51% purchase and conversion rate for mobile auto searches.
The study breaks down the auto category into three subcategories: Automotive Information, Auto Manufacturers & Dealers, and Auto Parts & Services. And four consumer profiles of mobile auto searchers: Auto Researchers, Deal Hunters, Emergency Users and Gear Heads.
Mobile Auto users are largely Caucasian males between age 25 and 44, with an annual salary between $50,000 and $100,000. And while the Automotive category hits a note with males, the Auto Parts & Services category indexes high for women.
Consumers interacting with the Auto Parts & Services subcategory are split between hobbyists and users. The study suggests that this demonstrates consumers with a more immediate need.
One interesting factor points to nuances in the category. It turns out that more than one-third of mobile auto users knew exactly what they were looking for, and 36% had a general idea during their decision-making process, indicating that the familiarity of brands plays a key role in influencing the mobile path to purchase in the Auto category.
The study suggests passive engagement on sites related to financial services, news, social media and local directories as a more effective strategy when trying to influence the purchase of auto-related goods and services.
Location will become increasingly important for smartphone and tablet users. When asked to pick the top three reasons for making an auto-related purchase after using an app or visiting a Web site, 86% of smartphone users said "close to my location," compared with 53% of tablet users.
The xAd and Telmetrics study combines online survey data from 1,500 U.S. tablet and smartphone users, as well as observed behaviors from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 6,000 Apple and Android users.