More car shoppers use mobile devices to research cars

More car shoppers use mobile devices to research cars

More than half of new-vehicle Internet shoppers now use a mobile device tablet or smartphone to conduct automotive research. They research vehicles, dealers and price that way, according to the J.D. Power 2015 New Autoshopper Study.

Since 2012, the use of tablets for car shopping has jumped by 83 percent and smartphone car shopping, by 70 percent. About a third of new-vehicle shoppers use a smartphone for research, and a third use a tablet.

–Outside of the home, the location where new-vehicle shoppers use their smartphone to conduct auto research prior to purchase is at a dealerhsip,” said Arianne Walker, senior director, automotive media and marketing at J.D. Power. Nearly half use their smartphone and 13 percent use a tablet to gather information while at the dealership. They are researching vehicle pricing, model information, inventory, special offers and incentives.

Increasingly, new-vehicle shoppers initially contact their dealer digitally. Although the majority of shoppers make their initial contact by simply walking into a dealerhsip, nearly one-fourth do so digitally, by email, the dealerês website, online quote request, text, online forum or Facebook.

More shoppers are entering the process with a specific make or model in mind. Nearly half know either the exact make or model they initially want and buy it.

Dealer websites play an important role. A whopping 83 percent of new-vehicle Internet shoppers visit at least one dealerhsip website, and 75 percent visit their selling dealershipês website. Eight in 10 visit a third-party site, with Consumer Reports, and Kelley Blue Book the most popular. Third-party sites are especially useful for vehicle comparisons and ratings/reviews.

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