xAd and Telmetrics Auto Study Reveals Two Distinct Mobile Search Patterns Among Car Shoppers and Auto Parts/Services Buyers

xAd | 11/13/2012

Ongoing Nielsen “Mobile Path-To-Purchase” Study Shows Mobile Auto Searchers Evenly Split Between Conversion and Research

NEW YORK and TORONTO (PRWEB) November 13, 2012

xAd, a leading mobile-local advertising network, and Telmetrics, the top mobile call measurement provider, today released new Automotive category data from their ongoing xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study showing that even by category mobile usage can vary drastically based on user needs and intent. The category has a 51 percent conversion rate as it is comprised of buyers searching for auto parts and services and shoppers conducting new and used car research.

“Mobile Auto users present a diverse audience that advertisers must consider in their mobile ad strategies as the new/used auto shopper is doing a lot of research while the auto parts/service buyer has an immediate purchase need for maintenance or malfunction,” said Monica Ho, vice president of marketing of xAd Inc. “Advertisers that use these new insights correctly can improve their ad relevancy and performance while reducing ad waste by ensuring mobile ads are hitting the right audience with the right message.”

Targeting Mobile Auto User Profiles Key to Mobile Campaign Effectiveness
While mobile auto users generally skew Caucasian (68 percent), males (64 percent), with a household income of $50-100K (35 percent) an observation of actual mobile auto user behavior revealed four further subcategories of auto users – each with its own distinct auto needs, demographics and usage patterns:

  • Auto Researchers – These users fit the typical auto user profile with slightly  higher incomes ($75-100k). The majority of their mobile session is spent on search and general auto information and manufacturer sites.
  • Deal Hunters – These non-Caucasian users with average incomes of $35-50k, also spend the majority of their time on general auto information sites and manufacturer sites.
  • Circumstantial/Emergency Users – It is these typically Caucasian females who depend on quick access to Auto info via search and familiar brand properties.
  • Gear Heads – Also known as hobbyists, these users are typically African American males, ages 25-54 with an annual income of $100-150K.

xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase Auto Infographic & White Paper (http://www.mobilepathtopurchase.com)

Mixed Purchase and Research Intent
Given the different types of mobile Auto searchers, there is a correlating effect on purchase intent with a fairly equal split among purchase and research activity. 51 percent of mobile Auto searchers report ultimately making a purchase with 49 percent looking to make a purchase within the day. Proximity, right fit and price are the most important factors in the ultimate purchase decision. Smartphone searchers demonstrate a more immediate need as 36 percent of smartphone users, compared with 25 percent of tablet searchers, were looking to make a decision immediately or within the hour.

Mobile Web Dominates vs. Apps
Of the 15 percent of mobile consumers conducting mobile Auto searches, less than one percent are using apps – likely because their occasional use of the category doesn’t demand the day-to-day benefits of app usage. Information-based mobile websites, like KBB.com, AutoTrader.com and others, are the most popular among mobile Auto searchers, reaching 8 percent of the mobile audience—higher than the combined reach of users going to auto manufacturer (4 percent) or auto parts sites (3 percent).

“Automotive mobile marketers should recognize Auto searchers’ preference for mobile websites over apps to reach mobile searchers that don’t know exactly what they are looking for and maximize and monetize mobile ad performance,” said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. “Also, understanding the role of location – specifically the importance of local driving distance – is essential to harnessing the 65 percent undecided mobile Auto audience and their purchasing power.”

Additional highlights from the study include:

  • Similar to other categories, smartphones are more consistently used for locating and contacting Auto-related businesses while tablets reign for research and finding pricing information.
  • Location is key as 44 percent of Auto searchers looked up a business location or directions, 43 percent looked up pricing info or compared prices and 36 percent looked for a business phone number and/or called the business.
  • Mobile Auto searchers reported that they are most likely to click on an Auto ad with a promotional offer or an ad that is targeted to what they are searching for.
  • Mobile Auto searches gravitate toward familiar brands but only 35 percent knew exactly what they were looking for.
  • Tablet users are much more familiar with the brand they want before conducting a search.

To read the original release, click here.