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The Car Buying Process and Mobile Usage ⁠— South Korea

Posted Mar 10, 2020

South Korea has 95% smartphone penetration, the highest in the world, and mobile devices are deeply pervasive in Korean consumers’ shopping habits and car buying is no exception.

Korean consumers’ demand for cars is very strong. Cars not only need to serve their primary transportation needs but also reflect their personality, self-image, and social status. Cars are a popular and important way for Koreans to express their individuality. With Koreans so well-informed as research-driven consumers with abundant online resources, the relationship between vehicle purchase and mobile usage is inseparable.

We wanted to identify what car-buying activities consumers use smartphones for, how important accessing auto information is while out and about during the buying process, and how much they’re willing to interact with mobile ads as part of the process.

To learn more about consumer behavior and their mobile usage, AdColony conducted a Car Buying Survey of Korean consumers and many interesting facts were revealed!

Highlights of the Study

  • New vs. used — 71% of consumers purchase new cars over used cars
  • Most car buyers are older Millennials or Gen-X — More than half of car buyers are the ages of 35 and 54
  • Smartphones are considered necessary — 68% of consumers say it is very important or important to have their smartphones with them while shopping for a car
  • Online research leads to dealership visits — More than 70% of consumers are very likely or likely to visit a dealership after researching for a car online
  • Consumers use mobile devices for many reasons — The top 3 reasons are to compare prices, to research models/specs and to find dealerships
  • Auto ads are impactful — 83% consider relevant auto ads when shopping for a car and 79% have clicked on auto ads before
  • Mobile video ads are the “key” — 87% consider watching and/or interacting with a video on a mobile device to explore models and features, like this award-winning AdColony Ford Ranger ad.
  • Consumers seek online reviews — Online reviews and brand image are the top factors that would make consumers more likely to consider one brand or model over another

Check out the infographic below for more great insight and click to open it full size! Be sure to download the Korean language version as well!

About the Study
The AdColony Car Buying Survey was distributed in South Korea and gained over 250 responses. Participants, which ranged from different 18 years of age to over 75, were asked a series of questions about car buying/leasing behaviors, dealership visits, ad engagement, and device usage in the purchasing process.

Join the Conversation
How do you use your mobile device when shopping for a car? Tweet us @AdColony_APAC. For the latest AdColony mobile news and updates, follow @AdColony on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or connect on Linkedin.

Yoohyun (Karen) Kim
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