PC Or Smartphone? How Customers Are Finding Car Dealerships Now

iStrobeOver 196 million people in the U.S. have a driver’s license; 250 million have mobile phones (with over half of them using, specifically, a smartphone). Moreover, 80 percent of the 18-34 demographic use smartphones. While certainly all car buyers don’t fall into that 18-34 demographic, many who aren’t that age have drivers in their lives who are and who come to them for advice (and/or financial help) in purchasing their next (or first) vehicle.

So, whether you’ll be driving the vehicle or you are the person who will be helping your car-buying friend or family member select and secure a car, how do you find the dealership you want to visit to test drive your potential new vehicle?

Why Car Shoppers Prefer to Use Their Smartphones to Find Car Dealerships:

Info is Quickly and Easily Accessible

Whether you are waiting at a restaurant, stuck on a ski lift, or sitting at a stadium in the middle of a rain delay, you can do your car dealership due diligence via your smartphone. That instant accessibility – wherever you are, whenever you want, makes using a smartphone the technological tool of choice for exploring and finding dealerships.

There Are an Array of Dealership-Related Apps

Automakers today are developing and launching apps for smartphones at supersonic speeds. General Motors has smartphone apps for new and loyal customers who seek info about the Cadillac, the Chevrolet, GMC, and Buick. Many manufactures, like the Chrysler Group (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram), have apps that provide lots of useful information to smartphone users. Toyota has a smartphone app enabling customers to get the latest and greatest Toyota info and live Twitter feeds.

While locating the closest dealership is certainly one way smartphone users embrace these automaker apps, they are also very helpful to travelers who already own a particular vehicle and need to find the closest dealership for service work, parts, or maintenance and warranty information.

Further, automakers also offer apps that provide product feature video demonstrations, 24-hour roadside assistance, and even social media sites so car owners can connect with other like-minded drivers. Some of the other ways automakers are using smartphone apps include: providing quick and easy access to each model’s owner’s manual, allowing you to schedule appointments with sales reps and service departments, securing roadside assistance, unlocking your vehicle’s doors, giving you the ability to start your car remotely, and even providing a parking reminder if you forget where you parked!

Auto Salespeople Use Smartphones, Too

If you’re a real tech-savvy shopper, you know that automakers have designed apps just for their salespeople and dealerships. While these apps are neither accessible to you – the consumer – nor are they meant to be seen by you, they do provide important information that a salesperson can share with you that might help you choose your dealership (and vehicle) quickly and more confidently. The apps have the ability to locate your vehicle of interest not only at the dealership but also from one of the dealership’s trading partners’ inventory. So, if the dealership you found via your smartphone doesn’t have the exact car model and color you want, that dealership rep can use his/her smartphone to find it for you. The apps also provide info on manufacturers’ special offers, exterior and interior color choices, and displays the top-10 selling points for each vehicle!

Why Car Shoppers Prefer to Use Their PCs to Find Car Dealerships:

They Are Easier on the Eyes

Let’s face it, no matter how big your smartphone is, it doesn’t offer as much viewing space as your PC’s monitor. Looking for a dealership is often much more than simply securing its address. You want to read the blogs and reviews about cars you are interested in test driving, you want to learn about specials, and you may even want to build your own dream car – all of that is much easier to do on a PC than on a smartphone.

There Are Fewer (If Any) Interruptions

If you are in the “car shopping zone” and want to focus on researching your top vehicles, current specials, and dealership locations, it’s much easier to do that – uninterrupted – via a PC than on your smartphone. Between the smartphone ringing, vibrating, and buzzing as you peruse dealership locations, you could easily end up spending more of your precious time searching for vehicle info on your smartphone than on your home PC.

While comparison car shopping (and locating the next closest dealership) is quicker and easier with your smartphone, sometimes it’s more of an enjoyable experience on your PC, from the comfort of your home and your pajamas.

As a car shopper, do you prefer to use your PC or your smartphone to find a car dealership?

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By Chris Countey

Chris Countey is a digital marketer and blogger for the auto and tech industries, covering the latest news and stories for Oxnard Hyundai.