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WOW - "80% Use Smartphones To Car Shop"

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I just read this story on MediaPost.com, "80% Use Smartphones To Car Shop". That is a HUGE number. The post discussed a "study by mobile ad network Greystripe based on data collected from 851 mobile users over a three-month period ending February 15".

The numbers are interesting;
  • Mobile users are 3 times more likely to be in the market for a new or used car than the general public
  • About half use their their phones for initial research and price comparisons
  • Only a quarter or so use them to locate or contact a dealer
What do you guys think?

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Comment by Matt Palmer on April 12, 2011 at 10:12am
@Keith, well it may not be a good idea for dealers. However from a consumer's perspective it'll be a great tool. However, I do think that during this down economy many dealerships will sit back and not do anything different or drastically different in order for them to start selling. When it comes to the consumer, with certain vehicles it's all about who has the best deal. Yet for dealers that sell exotics and luxury vehicles, especially pre-owned, it is important to already have the fan base and loyalty established so consumers know they're getting the best deal even if may be slightly higher than the competition because of a reputation associated with the price.
Comment by Keith Shetterly on April 12, 2011 at 9:53am
Matt, I don't know about "good idea", but it's happening, regardless.  I'm sure it's not long before somebody makes and promotes a mobile site dedicated to "Car Buying for Dummies", too.  :)
Comment by Matt Palmer on April 12, 2011 at 9:36am

Thanks Keith, Glad to be here!

 

Oh I see what you mean, and yes I think that is a good idea. Honestly, it's all about getting the best deals and with many people bringing their computers or able to just toggle through different screens on the iPhone to see which dealership has the best deal! 

Comment by Keith Shetterly on April 12, 2011 at 9:32am

Welcome to ADM, Matt!  Glad to have you here, and glad to hear from an entrepeneur. 

 

To your response, though, the point is not about apps on phones, it's about mobile sites with prices and features that can be compared right on the sales floor.  Even for Internet Pricing vs. a dealer's own sticker price--all which has happened, and is happening, though it seems to be in the early stages.  The analog would be if the shopper had a PC with them--which is actually what is happening with SmartPhone growth.

Comment by Matt Palmer on April 12, 2011 at 9:27am

I don't think so. I'm a pretty young guy (under 30), so I have an advantage over many older people in this industry when it comes to keeping up with trends and technology. Car app's have been available for a while however there isn't some booming business benefitting off a person walking into a dealerships saying "Oh, I found this car using my Cars.Com app or other apps". The app's are convenient, however the internet and your content is what's dominating. 

 

Many dealerships have YouTube channels, and video marketing is effective ONLY if you're getting fans! You can have 150-250+ uploads, and look down at your stats for the views and subscribers and be disappointed! Their are charts available that will tell you the traffic your channel gets over time. With the struggling economy being what it is and money not being as available to marketing initiatives as it should; those free FAST ADS and Momentum Marketing services that capitalize one making "videos" which are literally powerpoint presentations with some computerized male/female voice reading off features. Like for instance, if you're selling a Ferrari F430, and the woman says "premium wheels lend a distinct appearance", what's the purpose of that? You're selling and a customer is buying a Ferrari, end of story, of course it has premium wheels! However, the quote "you get what you pay for" is true in that regard.

 

Not to promote the company that I'm proud to be with or anything because it's literally a good 4 of us that are starting from the bottom and building are way up to the top. However, it's worked in the past and we are consistently thinking of new ways to improve. If you're a dealer on here and want to talk or potentially do business, I encourage you to contact me! I'm new to the online community here!

Comment by Ed Brooks on April 12, 2011 at 7:21am
Holy Cow Jim! We are agreeing on way too much today; I love my Droid X too. One other thing we can agree on, I've seen some really crappy research and analysis being used lately to further agendas.
Comment by Keith Shetterly on April 12, 2011 at 7:19am
No worries, Ed, you are spot on the main point:  We are about to see a sea change as far as the information part of maintaining gross.  If it stays headed in the current direction, it's going to become a bit like learning to play poker with most of the cards known.
Comment by James A. Ziegler on April 12, 2011 at 7:16am
Come-on Ed, fess up...you're selling mobile ads on the side...moonlighting.
Comment by James A. Ziegler on April 12, 2011 at 7:14am

truth is... I sat right in front of the manager and booked out his car on my Droid X just three weeks ago when I bought my son's pre-owned Honda. I told the Used Car Manager he was in his car for $15,500 or he was bad manager... :) 

 

BUT, of course, that does not mean I am typical buyer, far from it...BUT, yes, its coming on stronger by the minute...

Comment by Ed Brooks on April 12, 2011 at 7:11am

Keith, You are absolutely correct on the numbers and I apologize. There are two different statistics quoted and I conflated them: the 10% "Handset Haggler" figure and the "40 per cent of respondents use price comparison sites before buying..." figure.

 

And Jim, I think you know that I'm not in the business of selling mobile ads to anyone. I just noticed a trend that affects my dealer customers and I think is worth discussing.

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