LAS VEGAS — Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are changing the way consumers shop for their vehicles, making it critical for dealers to invest in mobile websites and mobile ads, Edmunds warned dealers at a conference this week.

The vehicle information site reported that there are an estimated 137.5 million smartphone users in the United States today, and claimed that number is expected to jump almost 40 percent by 2016.

Currently, about 35 percent of Edmunds’s site traffic originates from mobile devices, up from about five percent of site traffic in 2010. And a recent study found that mobile users are 88 percent more likely to do business with an auto dealer that has a mobile site.  

“As mobile Internet usage grows, dealers who have embraced a mobile strategy are in a far better position to reach a customer who is ready to buy,” says Kerri Wise,’s senior director of dealer training. 

Dealers can access additional findings in Edmunds’ 2013 Car Shopping Trends Report by clicking here.