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More young consumers using mobile devices for shopping

August 2, 2013
More and more researchers are concluding that, for Generation X and Y consumers, the threat of being struck by lightning apparently is greater than suffering a paper cut. Yes, it’s all about being online, and increasingly while mobile.
So what happens when Gen X and Y consumers see a dealership’s wonderful MARK-driven online listing and wind up on the lot? You might think the online battle is over at that point. Actually, it’s just beginning.
A growing majority of people are doing an extensive amount of research online before buying a car; according to Pew Research Center as many as 55 percent of those shoppers are going online through their mobile devices — up from 31 percent three years ago. Consider these other staggering statistics:
According to CNW Research, only 2 percent of new-vehicle shoppers were using smartphones to gather vehicle information in 2008. In just three years, it jumped to 27 percent.
More than 5 million people a month visit, and from their mobile devices. Thirty percent of traffic comes from mobile devices.
If Gen X and Y car shoppers are using mobile devices to research their options, you better believe they’re using them on your lot. In fact, according to a recent study from eBay Motors, 44 percent of 18- to 35-year-olds use mobile devices to compare pricing or get information while at a dealership.
The rate in other age groups was 27 percent, and the average age of these mobile car shoppers is 43.
A study revealed that the top use of mobile on the lot is price comparison, followed by searches for general information and then vehicle feature information. In other words, Gen X and Y shoppers who arrive on your lot are more susceptible than ever to online marketing from your competitors — and it may lead them right off your lot.
Fortunately, the advantages of mobile go both ways, and dealers and OEMs are beginning to realize that.
Leveling the playing field, closing the sale
It’s closing time. Your younger potential customers have arrived on your lot, but now you’re facing a new obstacle: mobile use on the lot.
If nearly half of your Gen X- and Y-aged potential customers are inclined to use mobile Internet on your lot, they’ve got power in the palm of their hand in the form of easy access to book data, competitor pricing and more.
And even if they aren’t using mobile devices on the lot, they’ve likely come fresh off hours of online research; when they step foot on your lot, they’re armed with every scrap of online information available on your inventory. Shouldn’t your salespeople have the same information to achieve higher-volume, higher-gross selling?
The iPad is a great tool to help you go head to head with them. It helps build credibility, and allows you to prove the value of your inventory by showing customers online information on a vehicle — from book data to J.D. Power awards.
With help from MAX for iPad, you can show customers direct vehicle comparisons on the iPad, right on your showroom floor, to assure them they’re getting a fair deal. This goes a long way in building trust — and closing the sale.