In a new study by J.D. Power, 7 in 10 users of ‘disruptive’ websites and apps — such as Netflix and Uber — use their smartphones for automotive research. It isn’t just millennials, either: it’s any new car buyer.

"It is important that we understand the automotive shopping patterns of disruptors, as it gives us a look into the future of what the digital auto shopping ecosystem may look like, as more and more consumers embrace these disruptive websites and apps," said Sean Weingarten, Director, Automotive Retail Practice at J.D. Power. "It's not just young peopleit's anyone who is open to the adoption of completely new experiences."

The Study

man researching cars onlineJ.D. Power researched new-car buyer trends with electronic devices over the course of one year. This year's study focused on disruptive websites and their effect on car buying. What it found was that 13 percent of new-car buyers who used automotive shopping sites were users of disruptive websites and apps.

They also found that the path to purchase for disruptive site users was nearly the same as non-disruptive site users: both take about four months to look around before buying a car. The only difference is that disruptive site users spend more hours researching on the internet than non-users (19 hours compared to 12 hours), and visit more automotive shopping sites (12 sites compared to 9 sites). Also, disruptive users visit more third-party sites and are more likely to use smartphones to do research than non-users (69 percent compared to 38 percent).

The study also found that automotive research on mobile devices is rising. They found that 58 percent of internet car shoppers did their research on a mobile device, averaging about 13 hours researching online.

Bottom Line

People are using the internet for research, and it’s only going to continue to grow in use as younger generations begin the car buying process. It’s important to be up to date with the latest technology and resources used online.

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