In a simpler time, people thought of cars as their way to get away from it all. Now, with smartphones, car-based apps and the mobile internet, drivers and riders can remained connected while on the go. Since the average American spends about 6.5 hours per week in their cars, this presents business owners with more opportunities to reach consumers via internet marketing campaigns. Whether or not more connected drivers is a good thing is debatable, but one can’t deny that technology has changed the way people think about their cars and driving. Here are 8 statistics that show how internet technology is changing automobiles in the U.S.
A recent study from Nielsen studied the way Americans interact with technology in their cars. They found that nearly one in three (30%) of US drivers drive cars that have at least one connected feature.
A lot of people use the mobile internet when they’re in the car in some form or another. According to Nielsen, 11 percent of US drivers drive cars with internet navigation and 7 percent of US drivers drive cars with mobile apps.
A different study from Nielsen found that many US consumers download new data each time they go for a drive. The study reported that 26 percent of US connected car owners use the internet every time they are in the vehicle.
The same study found that more than one third (36%) of US connected car owners stream audio every time they are in the vehicle. This means that running ads on music streaming apps like Pandora or IHeartRadio can be used to reach potential customers.
Connected car owners aren’t your usual tech crowd. Nielsen reported that 42 percent of US connected car owners are aged 55 or over, nearly three out of five (58%) are male, and 37 percent of US connected car owners earn over $100,000 per year.
For a little bit of interesting, yet frightening news, nearly 4 million US consumers have shopped using a mobile device while driving, according to CashStar.
Auto insurers have also seen increasing benefits from internet technology. More people are shopping and buying insurance online. A recent report from comScore found that 71 percent of Americans who shopped for auto insurance in 2014 obtained a quote online, up from 67 percent in 2013.
It’s not just that people are shopping for car insurance online, more and more consumers are using mobile devices. The comScore study found that 10 percent of Americans who shopped for auto insurance in 2014 obtained a quote online via a smartphone, and 7 percent purchased a policy on the device. Similarly, 8 percent obtained a quote online via a tablet, and 6 percent purchased a policy on one.
Besides the fact that people with cars usually have more disposable income than those who don’t, another recent trend should encourage marketers to try and reach consumers in their cars. The recent drop in gas prices has given Americans more income that can be used for shopping. Nielsen noted that 39 percent of US consumers have more money to spend due to declining gas prices. Everyone benefits in the form of lower prices for transported goods and the like, but car owners also get to save directly at the pump, so they benefit the most in terms of increased purchasing power.
Being able to reach consumers in new ways is essential for business owners who want to get ahead of the competition. Whereas in the past, the radio was the only way to reach people on the go, the internet has given marketers a lot of new opportunities to reach customers. These stats show there is value to trying to reach consumers who are in automobiles through online marketing.
For more information on an industry that’s being changed by the internet, and what it means for marketers, read this article about consumers and online video.