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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : August 19, 2014

Mobile, not social, is the channel Millennials use to shop for cars

A recent study from finds that social media is not driving car purchases, with just 1% using such sites to buy a vehicle. Mobile, on the other hand, is becoming a significant car-buying channel, particularly among Millennials.

by Helen Leggatt

The 2014 Automotive Buyer Influence Study does not make good reading for those in the auto industry using social media to help sell vehicles. It found that just 1% of those seeking to buy a new vehicle use social sites in their search.

Even younger buyers, Millennials, are not turning to the likes of Facebook or Twitter for car shopping. Just 5% do so. Furthermore, a car brand having a social media presence wouldn't change a Millennial's attitude towards the brand. More than three quarters of Millennials (78%) said that a car brand having a social media presence didn't matter to them.

"Millennials are apathetic about whether auto Web sites or brands have a social presence," said Isabelle Helms, vice president of research and market intelligence for

While the Internet is still the primary place consumers, including Millennials, go to search for a new car,'s research found increases in smartphone use - up 9 percentage points from 2013 to 2014. The most significant increase in mobile use was among Millennials. In 2013, 34% of Millennials used a smartphone to shop for a car but this has risen to 50% in 2014.

"As dealers and OEMs look to capture the attention of Millennials in 2014 and beyond, the importance of mobile cannot be emphasized enough," said Helms. "Automotive advertisers who don't start putting mobile first could be at risk of coming in last."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: automotive, ecommerce, mobile marketing, social marketing, trends

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