WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. — A study by J.D. Power and Associates revealed that the proportion of vehicle shoppers who use smartphones to access automotive information on the Internet has increased by more than 40 percent from 2010. The company’ s 2011 Automotive Mobile Site Study examines the features and content of OEM-sponsored and third-party mobile Websites and their usefulness in engaging shoppers who use mobile phones during the vehicle-shopping process.

In 2011, 24 percent of in-market smartphone Internet users visited automotive Websites on their smartphone. Last year, the average stood at 17 percent. The 41 percent increase in automotive Website visitation on smartphones is far greater than for any other type of content, including gaming (27 percent growth from 2010) or social media (17 percent growth). 

“While the proportion of vehicle shoppers who use smartphones to visit the Internet during the shopping process is still relatively small, it is expected to continue to grow during the next several years, which will shape the way automotive marketers will need to design their mobile sites and apps,” said Arianne Walker, director of automotive research at J.D. Power and Associates. 

Use of smartphone features (aside from voice calling) has increased among vehicle shoppers from 2010, with the largest increases occurring with app downloads and viewing of video content, according to J.D. Power. The 2011 Automotive Mobile Site Study — conducted in August — included 3,914 evaluations of automotive mobile Websites from vehicle shoppers who intend to purchase or lease a vehicle within the next two years.

For more information, visit www.jdpower.com.