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Auto shoppers have demonstrated a predilection for online research for years, and that behavior is now carrying over into the mobile sphere. A report from Mojiva, a mobile ad network that relied on analysis of its own data, along with a Q1 2012 survey, found that 69% of consumers in the US were interested in researching the purchase or lease of a vehicle using their mobile phone.
And auto consumers are showing some receptiveness to mobile ads that aligned with their shopping needs. Almost half of respondents said they considered deals and offers to be the most valuable information they could receive after clicking on a mobile advertisement. Additionally, one in five said they were interested in clicking on ads to learn about the features of a vehicle, or to watch a video about it. The same percentage of respondents said they valued ads that allowed them to sign up for future deals and offers, or other communications.
Exposure to ads also led a significant number of respondents to direct action. As of March 2012, fully 57% of respondents said they would browse a website as a result of seeing an ad on their phone, while 43% said they would download a mobile app. And 38% said they would request more information after watching a mobile ad.
Because of the high cost of vehicles, along with a great need to “touch and feel” (and test drive) before you buy, it is unlikely that sales conversions will start to take place on mobile devices anytime soon. But mobile campaigns have the potential to shape consumers’ opinions at the early stages of their research process, and push them along the sales funnel. Car Dealers and OEM's that incorporate mobile into their overall strategy, instead of considering it an afterthought, will benefit from the practice.