How Are Auto Buyers Using Mobile In Their Path To Purchase?

How Are Auto Buyers Using Mobile In Their Path To Purchase?

The average American consumer considers 2 or more types of vehicles and 5 brands before making their car-purchasing decision. 60% of people are “in market” for a car for at least 6 months, gathering research and seeking advice to help guide their decision making. This is according to a research study  commissioned by Facebook and done by Ipsos Media to study US auto intenders ages 18+ on how the car-purchasing process has changed for them and what it means for marketers.

The study found that most determine their price range at the beginning of the purchase research cycle and then begin to whittle down their choices concerning vehicle type, size, fuel type, brand and other features, as they do their research.

As it relates to using mobile, the study found that a whopping 71% of all respondents use mobile at some point during the purchase process. (Another study by Placed, Inc. and Cars.com put the number at 81%!) What I found most interesting about the study was the information about “Mobile First Auto Consumers,” these are the people who use mobile almost exclusively in their path to purchase a new automobile.

MOBILE FIRST AUTO CONSUMERS:
45% of Millennials (ages 18–34)
48% of Hispanics
41% of people with household incomes greater than $200K
24% have requested a quote online.
71% prefer to do all their vehicle research online and go to the dealer for the final transaction
76% know the exact vehicle they want before going to the dealer

So how should this info impact your advertising if you are an automotive dealer or have a dealer as an advertising client? Vici’s Mobile Conquesting platform would enable you to reach people on their smartphones in a geo-fenced area and target specific demographics like Millennials or Affluents and even people who are in-market for a vehicle. We also would recommend doing Facebook News Feed “Lead Ads” which allow a dealer to offer a test drive, quote, or click-to-call without leaving the Facebook app.

Top reasons why Mobile First Auto Consumers say they use mobile for auto shopping:
44% use it to reach out to a dealership or salesperson
38% use it to book a test drive
34% use it to look up details about the nearest dealer

Since these are the top reasons Mobile First Auto Consumers are using their smartphones why not use these as Calls-To-Action in your mobile ads? Vici’s Mobile Conquesting has an “expandable” ad (see example below) that allows the advertiser to feature up to three call-to-action buttons within one ad. It also can dynamically update to show how close the person is to the dealer’s location.

Dynamic and Expandable Mobile Ad

Mobile First Auto Consumers use both mobile apps and mobile websites to find the information they are looking for (see graphic below) such as comparing specs, researching dealerships, and reading reviews.  Therefore, your mobile marketing should include reaching people on both apps and mobile websites.

Mobile First Auto Consumers Graphic

The study sums up the research by saying, “The majority of mobile-first auto consumers say that in the future, they will rely solely on smartphones for their vehicle research. Brands can use the power of mobile to drive awareness and consideration with Millennials and the next generation of auto consumers and start shifting from the showroom to the “m-room.”

What about reaching auto consumers once they at the dealership? According to research by Cars.com and Placed, Inc. 63% of auto shoppers researched and shopped online WHILE AT a dealership. This is where “geo-conquesting” comes into play. You can “geo-conquest” around competing dealerships’ locations by targeting your ads to people while they are on another dealer’s lot.  See graphic below for what auto consumers are doing on their phones while on a dealer’s lot.

Mobile While On Dealer Lot

Digital advertising and automotive…the possibilities are driving the future!

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