News Byte: 'Showrooming' Thrives in Auto Showrooms

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It had to happen: showrooming in showrooms.
It had to happen: showrooming in showrooms.

It's the one retail location that has long billed itself as a showroom, but now the consumer practice of mobile “showrooming” while shopping for bargains has come to car dealerships in a big way. A study of car shoppers released today says that 63% of them consult their smartphones, not salespeople, to do research and make decisions inside auto showrooms.

The study commissioned by Cars.com and conducted by mobile research firm Placed Inc., found that:

  • 81% of auto shoppers used smartphones to research vehicle purchases and 63% used them while inside a dealership. A quarter respondents used mobile devices exclusively for researching auto purchases.

  • Nearly three quarters of mobile auto shoppers (72%) were more likely to visit additional dealerships in their pursuits compared to shoppers who didn't consult smartphones.

  • A third of the 500 auto-seekers surveyed said mobile ads influenced them to visit a particular dealership.

  • Top items researched while shopping were pricing and payment information, vehicle availability, and comparison shopping information from other dealers.

“Mobile shopping has exploded in just the past year, fundamentally changing the way dealers need to engage with customers,” says Cars.com SVP Alex Vetter.

Earlier this month the Interactive Advertising Bureau released a study suggesting that active car shoppers were 71% more likely than average consumers to be influenced by digital advertising across several retail segments.

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