U.K. Auto Consumers More Price Sensitive than in U.S., Says xAd/Telmetrics U.K. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study

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30 Percent of U.K. Mobile Auto Searchers Use Mobile Exclusively; More Smartphone App Usage than Tablets

The combination of a strong auto market and a longer U.K. mobile auto purchase cycle provides auto dealers and auto businesses more time to influence the nearly 50 percent mobile auto conversion rate.

Giving auto marketers further insight into U.K. mobile preferences and behaviors, xAd, a leading mobile-location based advertising network, and Telmetrics, the top mobile call measurement provider, today revealed the automotive results of the xAd/Telmetrics U.K. Mobile Path-to-Purchase research study. Conducted by Nielsen, the study found that U.K. mobile auto searchers take longer to consider their purchase decisions and place greater emphasis on price comparisons than their U.S. counterparts (53 percent of U.K. searchers conduct pricing comparisons vs. 43 percent in U.S.). Overall, mobile is a key media source for auto in the U.K. as 44 percent of mobile searches result in a purchase and 30 percent of the country’s mobile auto audience use mobile exclusively. And although U.K. mobile searchers are very reliant on the mobile web, nearly half of smartphone searchers and 29 percent of tablet searchers have used an auto app.

xAd/Telmetrics U.K. Auto Mobile Path-to-Purchase Infographic

More Active Auto Research and Price Sensitivity Means Longer Purchase Decisions
With the U.K. auto market seeing an increase in car sales as well as rising used car prices, U.K. consumers are engaged but carefully considering their auto purchase decisions. The study showed that U.K. mobile auto searchers are primarily researching new/used car purchases (72 percent), followed by car service (28 percent) and car parts (19 percent). U.K. mobile searchers are more active with price comparisons, research on new and used auto information and reviews than those in the U.S. They also make slower purchase decisions, with nearly 60 percent of U.K. searchers planning to make a purchase within a month or longer (compared to 29 percent of U.S. searchers). 32 percent of U.K. mobile users make a purchase decision within a day or faster, which may be attributed to immediate auto needs such as service and equipment.

“The combination of a strong auto market and a longer U.K. mobile auto purchase cycle provides auto dealers and auto businesses more time to influence the nearly 50 percent mobile auto conversion rate,” said Bill Dinan, president of Telmetrics. “Considering that U.K. searchers are price sensitive and less than 30 percent know exactly what they are looking for, content is very important and marketers should incorporate pricing, reviews and specific product and service details into their mobile-optimized sites and apps.”

Location Key to U.K. Mobile Auto Searchers Throughout Purchase Cycle
Another key finding is that U.K. mobile searchers strongly value close business proximity for auto-related purchases. In fact, 44 percent of U.K. auto searchers expect businesses to be situated within a five-mile radius of their current location, and up to 59 percent of U.K. auto searchers use their mobile device to look for a business phone number or place a call to a business. The study showed that close location is U.K. mobile auto searchers’ most important site or search feature and a key purchase influence alongside the right price and fit/relevance. Overall, U.K. smartphones were used more than tablets to look for or find a business to purchase from.

“As close proximity plays a critical role in the U.K. mobile auto purchase cycle, marketers can increase their consumer traction by prominently including business location details, contact information, and links to maps and directions in their mobile ad content,” said Monica Ho, vice president of marketing, xAd, Inc. “Incorporating this information will also help businesses forge a strong connection with both smartphone and tablet searchers who may be using more than one device throughout their purchase cycle.”

Mobile Device Type Impacts U.K. Auto Search Focus & Purchase Result
The study also revealed a number of device usage patterns for the auto category. Unlike in the U.S. where tablet auto searches generated more conversions, U.K. smartphone auto searches are more likely to result in a purchase than those on a tablet (47 percent smartphone vs. 41 percent tablet). Regarding top search activities, both smartphone and tablet owners primarily used their devices to compare prices and look up location details. The main difference is that smartphone users concentrate on finding location and contact information while reviews matter more to tablet users.

As far as where U.K. mobile auto searchers are using their devices, at-home tablet auto searches were double the amount than on smartphones (82 percent vs. 41 percent). There was also less car-based searching in the U.K. (16 percent) as compared to the U.S. (42 percent), which may be attributed to heavier public transportation use in the U.K.

About the Study
The xAd/Telmetrics Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study is the first to not only measure what consumers report they are doing via mobile devices, but also capture their actual preferences and behaviors, and includes specific market findings for the Travel, Restaurant and Auto categories. In February 2013, Nielsen conducted an online survey of more than 1,500 U.K. smartphone and tablet users who reported that they had engaged in a Restaurant-, Travel- or Automotive-related mobile activity in the past 30 days. This information was then combined with data from Nielsen’s Smartphone Analytics Panel of 6,000 Apple and Android users to help identify the mobile consumer journey and highlight the core points of mobile engagement. The U.K. study is a complement to the xAd-Telmetrics U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase Study, which was first conducted in 2012.

More details, as well as a full report on the U.K. findings, are available via mobilepathtopurchase.com

About Telmetrics, Inc.
For more than 20 years, Telmetrics has been the call measurement industry leader. Telmetrics’ call tracking solutions, which are available in North America and across Europe, track the lead generation quality of local search advertising and pay per call programs for the leading brands in local search. This includes both publishers and agencies that serve millions of SMBs and national franchise locations across North America and Europe. With greater visibility into advertising performance across all media channels—digital, mobile, print and more—media publishers, agencies and advertisers can optimize the media mix for higher quality lead generation, resulting in increased revenues and a more complete picture of ROI across converging media. For more information, visit Telmetrics.com.

About xAd
Founded in 2009, xAd is one of the largest mobile advertising platforms in the U.S. and the leader in delivering targeted mobile ads based on accurate user location and search context. Across its network, the company aggregates and manages billions of monthly ad impressions from which it derives the largest supply of location-based advertising inventory in the market. xAd delivers targeted mobile location@scale for over a million national and local advertisers, including brands like Pinkberry, Home Depot and Wells Fargo. xAd is based in New York City with several satellite offices across the U.S. and internationally. For more information, visit http://www.xAd.com.

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Meggan Manson
Young & Associates
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