In their "Automotive Mobile Site Study", J.D. Power & Associates found that the use of smartphones for vehicle shoppers has increased exponentially. For example, they found that compared to 2010, those who used their smartphones to access automotive information increased by a staggering 40 percent.
Additionally, J.D. Power and Associates also found that 30% of male car shoppers use their smartphone when browsing for a new car. On the other hand, however, only 18% of women revert to their smartphone when looking to purchase their next car. Not surprisingly, the study also concluded that collectively shoppers 40 years of age and younger use their smartphone 26% of the time, while those 40 years of age and older only use their smartphones 21% of the time. It doesn't stop at smartphones, however.
Thanks to the emergence of tablet devices such as Apple's iPad and Blackberry's Playbook, vehicle shoppers aren't limited to just using their smartphones. During their study, J.D. Power discovered that many vehicle shoppers used a tablet device (iPad, Playbook) to access automotive websites. Men used a tablet device 22% of the time, while women only used a tablet device 16%.
Arianne Walker, director of Automotive research at J.D. Power & Associates had this to say following the study: "While the proportion of vehicle shoppers who use smartphones to visit the Internet during the shopping process is still relatively small, it is expected to continue to grow during the next several years, which will shape the way automotive marketers will need to design their mobile sites and apps."
If you're still not convinced that smartphones are changing the vehicle buying process, take this into consideration: the 40 percent increase in automotive website visitation on smartphones is greater than the use of gaming (27%) and social media (17%).
As more and more car dealerships move their attention towards smartphone shoppers and invest in their own mobile app, the number of smartphone vehicle shoppers is only going to increase.
What do you make of this study?