PRESS RELEASE

Mobile "Showrooming" Now Mainstream in Automotive Retail

According to Placed Inc., 63% of car shoppers now use their smartphones to do research and make decisions while at automotive dealerships. In an independent study commissioned by Cars.com, Placed Inc. found that on-lot mobile “showrooming” significantly influences both dealership and vehicle selection, with pricing information, inventory availability and mobile advertisements persuading shoppers to visit competing dealerships – behavior that mirrors traditional retail shopping. To download the full report, please visit: http://dealeradvantage.cars.com/on-lot-mobile-study.

“In the same way online advertising revolutionized the automotive retail industry over the past decade, mobile shopping has exploded in just the past year, fundamentally changing the way dealers need to engage with customers,” said Alex Vetter, senior vice president at Cars.com. “Retailers should take immediate action to make mobile a cornerstone of their marketing strategy or risk losing out to mobile-savvy competitors.”

The study examined survey response and location data from more than 500 participants following visits to automotive dealerships, through the Placed smartphone app.

The study’s findings include:

  • Universal adoption:ˇ81% of auto shoppers used smartphones to do research when purchasing a vehicle, including 63% who used their smartphone while physically at an automotive dealership. A quarter (25%) of auto shoppers conducted research upsing a smartphone only, prior to visiting a dealership.
  • Automotive “showrooming”:ˇThe study found that mobile auto shoppers were 72% more likely to visit an additional dealership than shoppers who did not use a smartphone. Top on-lot activities included calculating price and payment information, confirming vehicle availability and comparing local competitors. Of shoppers who visited more than one dealership, more than half (52%) did so because of information gathered on their mobile device.
  • Mobile ad Influence:ˇAdvertising played a key role in influencing decisions as 33% of shoppers were lured to a competing dealership based on a mobile advertisement found while on a dealer lot.

“There’s been similar research around showrooming across other retail categories, but this is the first time anyone has been able to look quantitatively at mobile consumer behavior within automotive with this level of detail,” said David Shim, Founder and CEO at Placed. “A vehicle is one of the largest retail purchases a consumer makes, so it’s understandable that shoppers use every resource available – including their smartphone – to make what is often a very complex, calculated decision.”

The study also analyzed the role of third-party automotive marketplace sites in on-lot mobile auto research. The top 4 third-party in-market shopping websites (Cars.com, AutoTrader, KBB, Edmunds) were utilized by 56% of on-lot mobile users in the study, far surpassing use of manufacturer websites, dealership websites and search engines. This signals a consumer need for unbiased third-party information while on the lot in order to confirm car buying decisions.

To download the Cars.com Mobile Device Use at the Dealershipˇwhitepaper, please visit: http://dealeradvantage.cars.com/on-lot-mobile-study.

CARS is driving the future of automotive retail with innovative digital marketplace solutions for consumers, dealer customers and major automotive manufacturers. Our brands (Cars.com, Dealer Inspire, DealerRater) create “car chemistry” by connecting buyers and sellers, matching people with their perfect car, and inspiring a better shopping, selling and buying experience. We are leaders in innovation who thrive on change. We believe in “career chemistry” and match our employees’ passions with opportunities to push the boundaries in the automotive and tech industries together. Our tech is nothing without our team of creative, passionate people who are putting the pedal to the metal every day to reinvent the car shopping experience.

Our company

Cars.com invented car search. Our site and suite of innovative solutions connect buyers and sellers to match people with their perfect car.

Read more

Media inquiries & requests

Public Relations
312-508-6727
Contact the Cars.com offices
312-601-5000
Fax 312-601-5755
Contact Customer Service

If you have a question not related to media relations, please call customer service at (888) 780-1286 or Contact Us.

Investor Relations inquiries

Latest news

truck-inventory
Chevrolet Silverado 1500, Ford F-150, Ram 1500 Dealer Inventory: Where Are They Now?
honda-civic-type-r-limited-edition-2021-01-angle-exterior-front-yellow
2021 Honda Civic Type R Limited Edition Review: A Little Bit Lighter, a Little Bit Louder
ford-f-150-hybrid-supercrew-limited-2021-103-aerial-drone-towing
Here's Everything We've Towed With Our 2021 Ford F-150 Hybrid