The September 2018 On-the-Lot (OTL) report examined how people shop for cars by price level. We counted the number of VDP views that shoppers made on their mobile devices while on dealerships’ lots. We broke out those VDP views by vehicle type and price range, with $0-$9,999 being the lowest and $100,000+ being the highest. Here’s what we found:

Most Viewed VDP Vehicle Types on the Lot

  1. Sedans priced between $10,000-$19,999.
  2. Sedans ($0-$9,999).
  3. Luxury passenger ($10,000-$19,999).
  4. Luxury passenger ($20,000-$29,999).
  5. Crossover ($10,000-$19,999).

Most Viewed VDP Vehicle Types on the Lot: New

  1. Crossover ($20,000-$29,999).
  2. Sedan ($20,000-$29,999).
  3. Truck ($30,000-$39,999).
  4. Crossover ($30,000-$39,999).
  5. Truck ($40,000-$49,999).

Most Viewed VDP Vehicle Types on the Lot: Used

  1. Sedan ($10,000-$19,999).
  2. Sedan ($0-$9,999).
  3. Luxury passenger ($10,000-$19,999).
  4. Luxury passenger ($20,000-$29,999).
  5. Crossover ($10,000-$19,999).

The ranking for used cars is nearly identical for the aggregate view of all cars. That’s because VDP views for used cars on the lot far exceeded those for new cars. Clearly, shoppers for used cars on the lot are more aggressive comparison shoppers based on VDP views. In addition:

  • Vehicles costing between $10,000-$19,000 accounted for 25 percent of all views (the largest share), with vehicles costing between $20,000-$29,999 accounting for 21 percent (the second largest share). This finding held true for used cars, too. In the new car category, vehicles costing $30,000-$39,999 achieved the most VDP views although not by a large amount. Overall, car shoppers are cost-conscious, but they are not exactly flocking to the least expensive cars on the lot.
  • Luxury passenger vehicles get the most VDP views overall followed by sedans (a distant second).

Our description of the on-the-lot product suggests these interactions come from mobile-savvy younger consumers who want to check out a car but don’t want to submit a phone or email lead. A lot of these consumers are looking for less costly used cars. Thus, mobile-savvy young consumers over-index on people shopping for cheaper wheels, presumably because they have tight budgets.

Tips for Dealerships

  • Stay abreast of all the tools that your shoppers are using to research vehicles, such as third-party sites, social media, etc. When shoppers are on your lot, you want to be on the same page with them!
  • Ensure that you list your prices consistently everywhere your VDPs are found online and offline. What consumers see on their mobile phones should match what they see on your lot. Price mismatches will erode consumer trust.
  • Understand that someone price checking on their mobile phones on your lot is telling you something about themselves: they’re actively looking. They are probably price conscious, but they’ve probably moved beyond casual tire kicking.

With higher car prices possibly on the horizon due to the impact of tariffs, dealerships may experience an uptick of price-conscious shoppers on their lots between now and the end of the year. Be ready to respond! For more insight, For more insight, check out the complete September 2018 report.