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Why Your Shop Website Must be Designed for Smartphones

Users of “disruptive” websites and apps from digital brands that challenge traditional business models-such as Zappos, Netflix, Uber and AirBnB-spend more time using their smartphones to conduct research prior to visiting an auto dealership, according to the J.D. Power 2017 New Autoshopper Study. Aftermarket shops looking to capture the same consumer demographic have best update their websites to accommodate smartphone users.

The J.D. Power study analyzes how new-vehicle buyers use digital devices-tablets, smartphones and computers-to gather information prior to purchase, as well as which websites and apps they use during the shopping process. The study also examines which types of content new-vehicle buyers access during their shopping process and which content they find most useful. This year, the study also explores the behavior of users of disruptive websites and apps that consumers use in their everyday life.

Users of disruptive websites and apps comprise 13 percent of new-vehicle buyers who use automotive shopping sites. They tend to be younger, but are not limited to the youngest generations-although 33 percent of Gen Y are users, 18 percent of Gen X and 6 percent of Boomers and Pre-Boomers also fall into the disruptive user category.

“It is important that we understand the automotive shopping patterns of disruptors, as it gives us a look into the future of what the digital auto shopping ecosystem may look like, as more and more consumers embrace these disruptive websites and apps,” said Sean Weingarten, director of automotive retail practiceat for J.D. Power. “It’s not just young people-it’s anyone who is open to the adoption of completely new experiences.”

The path to purchase for these disruptor site and app users is similar to non-disruptive site users-both groups take about four months to shop for and buy their new vehicle-but disruptive site users spend far more total hours conducting automotive research on the internet than non-users (19 hours versus 12 hours, respectively) and visit more automotive shopping sites (12 sites versus nine sites). Users of disruptive technologies also visit more third party sites and are far more likely to use smartphones to conduct automotive research (69 percent) than are non-users (38 percent).

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Automotive research on mobile devices on the rise: More than half (56 percent) of automotive internet shoppers conduct research on a mobile device. Smartphone usage continues to trend upward in 2017 (42 percent versus 37 percent in 2016), while tablet usage dips slightly (32 percent versus 33 percent in 2016). The average internet shopper spends 13 hours conducting automotive research online, and now 36 percent of the total time spent is on mobile devices

The 2017 U.S. New Autoshopper Study is based on responses from 18,393 purchasers and lessees of new 2015 to 2017 model-year vehicles who used information gathered digitally during their shopping process.  The study was fielded from February through June 2017.

Click for more information about the 2017 New Autoshopper Study.

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