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BizReport : : November 14, 2012

Mobile consumers looking for a new car prefer websites to apps

New research from xAd and Telmetrics, using data from Nielsen, reveals differences in how smartphone and tablet users search for a new set of wheels, and how the mobile automotive search audience prefer mobile websites to apps.

by Helen Leggatt

gI_84483_xAdTelmetricslogo.jpgAccording to the study, the third part of the "Mobile Path to Purchase" research started earlier this year, half of the mobile automotive search audience are doing long-term research before making a purchase. However, 49% were looking to make a purchase within the day. Of this 49%, over a third (36%) converted "within the hour".

However, differences appear when the mobile automotive search audience is split into smartphone and tablet users. Smartphone searchers are more liable to want to purchase a vehicle within the hour, and 42% conducted research while in their cars.

Those using tablets, however, were more laid back, and spent more time looking at reviews and researching price than smartphone users. They were also found to be three times more likely to be influenced by positive reviews than smartphone users and more familiar with the brand they want before searching.

Across both device types, 44% of the mobile automotive search audience looked up business locations and directions while 43% researched price and price comparisons. Over a third (36%) looked for a business telephone number.

Of the 15% of the automotive search audience using mobile, just 1% is using apps. Unlike other apps categories such as travel, weather or news, apps for automotive purchases aren't, in general, used on a daily basis, so this small number using apps isn't surprising.

"Automotive mobile marketers should recognize auto searchers' preference for mobile websites over apps," said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics, in a recent press release. "Also, understanding the role of location - specifically the importance of local driving distance - is essential to harnessing the 65% undecided mobile Auto audience and their purchasing power."

Tags: automotive industry, automotive trends, mobile apps, mobile web, mobile website, smartphone, tablet

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