- Car buyers were more likely to research Ford, Chevrolet, Jeep and Nissan on a mobile device than on a desktop computer as shopping activity shifted to smartphones, Comscore announced. The media measurement firm said 6.6 million U.S. consumers used a mobile device to shop for a car in the first half of the year, almost double the 3.5 million who used a desktop.
- Honda and Hyundai saw more shoppers on desktops than on mobile devices, while Dodge, Subaru and Kia were balanced among mobile and desktop platforms. The "request a quote" feature was used more frequently on mobile devices than on desktop, indicating that shoppers used it later in the buying process after narrowing their vehicle selection.
- The median age of mobile shoppers was 49, compared with 56 on desktop, while about half (49%) of people using a mobile device were under age 45, compared with 22% on desktop. Almost half of female car buyers used a mobile device, compared with 33% who shopped on a desktop computer, per Comscore.
Ford, Chevrolet, Jeep and Nissan tended to be more popular among car shoppers using mobile devices than those who researched their purchase on a desktop computer, according to Comscore. Its finding may indicate an opportunity for those brands to reach their most likely buyers with mobile-based campaigns, especially as shoppers get closer to the point of sale. Vehicle makes, models and prices that appeal to younger consumers and women also are likely to find greater success by directing their marketing efforts to mobile sites, social media and apps that are popular among those target groups.
Comscore's data helps to support other indicators that prospective car buyers directed their shopping efforts online as many dealerships remained closed during the coronavirus pandemic. Carvana, an online retailer of used vehicles, saw a 25% increase in car sales in Q2 from a year earlier, helping to drive a 13% increase in revenue to $1.12 billion, per a quarterly statement. The retailer estimated it will sell as many as 265,000 cars this year, an almost 50% gain from 2019, and has a longer-term goal of selling 2 million cars a year, The Wall Street Journal reported. The growing popularity of online sales of used cars has invited competition from rivals such as Vroom and Shift Technologies, the newspaper reported.
With more consumers facing financial pressures because of the pandemic's effect on the economy, vehicle makers have changed the tone in their advertising and boosted their online presence to reach younger adults who make up a key target audience. Ford, as one example, last month started an eight-part podcast to promote the return of its Bronco SUV, aiming to reach the growing audience for on-demand audio programming. Honda ran a social media campaign featuring Disney characters while showcasing the family-friendly features of its 2021 Odyssey minivan. A month earlier, Lexus released an app that gave mobile consumers an immersive preview of the 2021 IS, a redesign of the luxury carmaker's sedan. These campaigns were more likely to reach mobile consumers as they researched their next car purchase, Comscore's data suggests.