36% of mobile car search convert within an hour, finds study

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It will be one of these studies that will make the car and travel industry think. Nielsen, xAd and Telmetrics just published the third part of their „mobile path to purchase“ study. The research is based on findings for the travel industry, restaurants and the car industry. The study found some significant differences in the consumer behavior from the three industry sectors. Especially for the car industry the findings seem notable…

The research discovered four types of mobile car users: car researchers, car, deal hunters, ircumstantial or emergency users, gear heads. All showed different signs of behavior, demographic and income profiles. There are some significant findings.

Half of the mobile car search was done as a longer term research. However, 49% were „looking to make a purchase within the day.” Even more, 36% of this part converted “within the hour.“

By comparing the three categories, the study found some elementary difference between apps and mobile web usage. While car searchers are heading for mobile web usage (maybe because their demand is not of daily expertise with these apps), the travel search is done predominatly via apps.

The study also clarified some differences between smartphone and tablet user behavior which was especially in the automotive category of importance for the car industry:
– Tablet owners are 3x more likely to be influenced by positive reviews than smartphone owners
– Tablet users spend more time looking at reviews and doing price research than smartphone users
– 42% of smartphone users do some research while in their cars

Most car search activities were business directions (44%), pricing comparison (43%) and phone numbers to business impact (36%).

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