Australian car buyers are going mobile

For many people, our mobile device is like an extension of ourselves. We take it everywhere we go, and use our devices in the car more than ever before. But mobile technology is affecting the industry in more ways than one – increasingly Australians are using it to research and purchase vehicles.

With this trend on the rise, it's important that people in working in automotive dealerships look for new ways to embrace consumer habits and maximise car sales in the future.

About 60 per cent of Australia auto buyers use mobile devices to research cars.

Mobile devices fast becoming an automotive staple

New research from Google has found that 60 per cent of Australian car buyers used a mobile device when they were researching vehicles to purchase, as well as 79 per cent of luxury car buyers.

Interestingly, about half of all buyers did research on their devices while they were actually at a dealership, demonstrating that many auto consumers are taking matters into their own hands and actively validating information rather than just taking a dealer's word for it. They are more likely to read reviews by other owners of the same car, and find out potential issues. This may mean that manufacturers and dealers have to be more careful about quality control and assurances, to accommodate this proactive brand of buyer.

Mobile devices are especially popular with millennial car buyers.Mobile devices are especially popular with millennial car buyers.

Millennials in the mix

While the use of mobile technology is gaining across the board, it is particularly prevalent among the largest consumer base – millennials. In its 2014 Automotive Buyer Influence Study, Autotrader predicted that by the year 2020, 80 per cent of millennials will be using multiple mobile devices when buying their cars. The report also revealed that a high proportion of this group has used this research to make up their minds about the car they want before going to the dealership.

Autotrader Vice President of Research and Market Intelligence; Isabelle Helms says that it's essential for automotive professionals to recognise this trend and utilise online and mobile services to reach the younger generation of buyers.

"With that, it's incredibly important for automotive advertisers to understand how millennials are shopping online and across mobile devices so they can effectively reach this generation of car buyers," she said.

Consequently, it is likely that the Australian automotive industry will partner with professionals in IT jobs to increase the focus on online and mobile services; enabling it to further tap into the digitally-enabled market.