Walk-in shoppers love to look at trucks – especially Ford F-150s. And, Dodge Chargers, Honda Civics, and Jeep Wranglers are very popular, too. Those makes and models are being looked at the most on walk-in shoppers’ mobile phones while the shoppers are on dealers’ lots, according to Cars.com research.

Walk-in shoppers are defined as people who don’t contact a dealer before visiting a lot. They’re a sizable group: Cars.com research shows that 43 percent of car shoppers don’t contact a dealership before walking onto the lot via traditional lead methods.[1]  They’re also ready to buy. Two-thirds of walk-in shoppers make a purchase within 72 hours of their on-the-lot visit.[2]

Especially because walk-in shoppers are critical leads, we wanted to know what new vehicles they’re looking at while they’re on dealers’ lots. So throughout May, we examined anonymous data based on shoppers’ use of the Cars.com mobile app. Our May On-The-Lot Trend Report shows:

  • Trucks rule. The five most popular makes and models racked up more views cumulatively – by far — than sedans (the second-most popular category) and luxury vehicles.
  • The Porsche Panamera is the most viewed new luxury vehicle, followed by the Alfa Romero Giulia. Two SUVs – the Land Rover Range Rover and the Porsche Macan – are in the Top 5, suggesting that walk-in shoppers’ interest in larger vehicles isn’t restricted to trucks.
  • Dodge reigns as the most viewed midsize sedan, but Honda and Nissan top the compact and fullsize categories, respectively.
  • Jeep tops the SUV category for walk-in shoppers, with the top two spots going to the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler Unlimited. The Wrangler also topped our American-Made Index as the “Most-American” vehicle for 2017, a possible contribution to the walk-in popularity among shoppers.
  • Walk-in shoppers’ interest is fragmented. No make dominates across all three categories of luxury vehicle, truck, and sedan.

Our data underscores that dealers should make sure your vehicle descriptions on third-party sites such as Cars.com are rich with content including visual information. Walk-in shoppers tend to do thorough homework, including while they’re on the lot. And they are looking up your inventory even if they’re not on your lot. For instance, walk-in shoppers are not necessarily on Dodge lots while they’re viewing Dodge Chargers,  and  no single make dominates a walk-in shopper’s interest. In addition, because walk-in shoppers rely on mobile devices to do their research, make sure your inventory is optimized for mobile.

Cars.com can help you grow your dealership through walk-in leads. Contact us to win with the walk-in shopper.


[1] Walk-In Shopper Survey.  Cars.com, February 2017. (Toluna and Vision Critical Captures).

[2] Walk-In Shopper Survey.  Cars.com, February 2017. (Toluna and Vision Critical Captures).