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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : January 27, 2014

Placed: Showrooming now mainstream in auto sector

It's no secret that an increasing number of consumers are taking their mobiles into grocery and big box stores as well as the local mall while shopping to comparison shop. In many categories that number of consumers is still relatively small - but not in auto. According to new Placed data, showrooming is mainstream in the automotive sector.

by Kristina Knight

The data shows that most (81%) of auto shoppers are using smartphones to research vehicle purchases; 63% are using mobiles while at the dealership. About one-quarter of those researching via mobile pre-purchase are using only their mobiles to do said research.

"In the same way online advertising revolutionized the automotive retail industry over the past decade, mobile shopping has exploded in just the past year, fundamentally changing the way dealers need to engage with customers," said Alex Vetter, senior vice president at, which commissioned the study. "Retailers should take immediate action to make mobile a cornerstone of their marketing strategy or risk losing out to mobile-savvy competitors."

"There's been similar research around showrooming across other retail categories, but this is the first time anyone has been able to look quantitatively at mobile consumer behavior within automotive with this level of detail," said David Shim, Founder and CEO at Placed. "A vehicle is one of the largest retail purchases a consumer makes, so it's understandable that shoppers use every resource available - including their smartphone - to make what is often a very complex, calculated decision."

Other interesting findings from the report include:

• 33% of auto buyers say they've been influenced to switch dealerships by mobile ads
• 72% of auto showroomers are 'more likely to visit' multiple dealerships than non-smartphone users
• 52% of those who visit multiple lots do so because of the research found via mobile
While on the lot, most mobile showroomers are calculating prices/payments or confirming a vehicle is available at their preferred lot. Many are also comparing prices between dealerships.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: automotive advertising, M:commerce, mobile marketing, mobile trends, mobile use, Placed

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