The Smartphone Car Shop: Apps and Mobile Sites for Car Shopping

Recent consumer reports indicate that more and more individuals are using their smartphones to shop for cars online.

According to a study from Briabe, nearly 90% of consumers are expected to use smartphones as their primary source for information leading to a purchase decision. What’s the motive behind the sudden shift in preferences, you ask? Take a look at the alternative.

Smartphones Change the Purchase Process

Before smartphones were invented, shopping for cars was not everyone’s favorite experience. For many consumers, the time spent planning, researching and bouncing from one dealership to another proved to be more frustrating than helpful. That being said, smartphones now allow all this activity to occur from the comfort of your palm. Let’s take a look at a few significant advantages to car shopping on your smartphone.

  • Less anxiety. Going to the dealership can be an overwhelming experience for many shoppers. Between looking at different cars, weighing multiple options and attempting to dodge aggressive salespeople, many shoppers walk away from a dealership with less confidence and more confusion. Shopping for a car on your smartphone is much less intimidating – and sometimes more helpful – than going to a dealership.
  • Quicker. Unlike trekking to the dealership, shopping for a car on your smartphone is much quicker. Prior to smartphones, car buyers often went to multiple dealerships to compare models, prices and features. Now, with the simple tap of a screen, shoppers are able to look at different inventories, compare features and research prices.
  • Information at your fingertips. Traditionally, car shoppers are skeptical of the information they receive from dealerships. Whether warranted or not, there’s always the question, “Are they just trying to rip me off?” By using your smartphone to shop for cars, you have access to a wealth of information at your fingertips. You’re in control of where your information comes from, which, for many, results in becoming a well-informed car buyer.

Mobile Apps Make Shopping Simple

Fortunately for car shoppers, many dealerships are making it easier than ever to find the information you need online. Dealerships invested in a customer’s experience are taking note of this new trend and making their inventories available online and through mobile devices. Specifically, companies are encouraging the use of smartphones to shop for cars by creating mobile apps and optimizing their websites for mobile users. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

  • DriveTimeDriveTime knows what customers want and need from a car dealership. As a result, the company launched its mobile optimized site,, which allows shoppers to browse their used car inventory from any mobile device.
  • acts as a liaison between customers and dealerships, allowing shoppers to research car and pricing information before contacting a dealership. In the wake of the smartphone revolution, this company also created a mobile optimized site specifically for mobile shoppers.
  • Edmunds.comAs a trusted source for car-related information, Edmunds continues to keep their thumb on the pulse of consumer purchase habits. In response to increasing rates of mobile car shopping, Edmunds created branded mobile apps compatible with iPhone, iPad and Android devices.

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