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Mobile Device Shoppers

Mobile Device Shoppers

Just looking around any room of people, there should be no doubt that mobile device usage (smartphones and tablets) is on the rise. If you've read our five-part series describing how different generations shop, you know that nearly everyone uses them. What we found in our research is that there are two types of mobile device users. One group browses to learn more about makes and models before visiting a dealership, and another studies the competition while at the store itself.

No matter who your website provider is, they have probably discussed the importance of having a mobile-friendly internet site. We won't get into the details, but the bare minimum is to ensure that a bandwidth detector is in place so that images and content load at the speed appropriate to the device being used. A study from J.D. Power from 2016 found that the better a dealer website, the more likely that person is going to visit a car lot. Other studies found that between 71 and 81% of car buyers use their mobile device at some point to research cars, trucks, and SUVs. An analysis of “Mobile-First Auto Consumers,” the people who almost exclusively use their smartphone or tablet, found the following:

  • 34% of people use mobile devices to learn about the nearest dealer
  • 38% use them to book a test drive
  • 44% use them to contact a salesperson

These numbers are expected to grow in the coming years as mobile screens are becoming bigger, making surfing more convenient.

While at the dealership looking around the showroom, a study of 100,000 U.S. users found that 63% check out other models and incentives online while at the store. Out of those users, 52% went to another store the same day because of information they found. Here's another breakdown:

  • 51% used their smartphones to do a comparison shop
  • 16% looked up advice about the vehicle they wanted to buy
  • 17% read up on reviews
  • 29% visited manufacturer websites to learn more about models.

That's a lot of information, but the main takeaway is this: cross-checking vehicle information and payment options happen while shopping.

What can we take away from all of these statistics? For one, if you're not tracking how many people are using their phones or tablets to visit your site, you could be missing out on an opportunity to improve the user experience and, therefore, increase your ROI. We've said it before and we'll say it again: in 2016, car buyers only visit an average of 1.2 dealerships to make a purchase or lease a vehicle. If you don't know your vendor's bounce rate or where your leads are coming from, you need to talk to your marketing team or internet manager. Better yet, give us a call to show you how we use an unbiased third-party tracking system to monitor our program and compare it to what vendors are providing.