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TrueCar’s mobile traffic jumps 90pc as big purchases accelerate

TrueCar’s mobile traffic continues to grow at quick pace, with more than a 90 percent jump in December, pointing to how car buyers are increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets to make a purchase.

Mobile users now account for close to 50 percent of all unique visitors to TrueCar, which provides insight into what others actually paid for a car, upfront pricing information and access to a network of more than 9,000 dealers. With downloads of the brand’s smartphone application surpassed 1.3 million at the end of November, the company believes a tipping point was reached in December, when consumers understood they can purchase a car from their phones.

“Self-service or mobile car buying is where today’s consumer wants to be at and our job is to make it easy for the dealer to address these needs and make them more efficient in the process, creating an incredible new car buying experience for consumers and sustainable profits for dealers,” said Tom Taira, chief product officer at TrueCar.

Enhanced mobile shopping
TrueCar continues to focus on enhancing the mobile experience for customers, believing this is the future of car-buying as consumers becoming increasingly comfortable making big purchases from their mobile devices.

The TrueCar mobile app’s Price Check feature, introduced earlier this year for iOS devices, was made available for Android phones in November. The feature enables users to get real-time pricing while on TrueCar Certified Dealer lots simply by scanning VIN stickers.

Overall, TrueCar saw a 50 percent jump in site traffic in December.

Unique visitors to TrueCar totaled 3.7 million in December versus 2.4 million a year ago.

Consumer confidence
The growth reflects recent gains in consumer confidence as the economy appears to be rebounding. This helped TrueCar achieve a one-day record high of nearly 200,000 unique visitors on Dec. 27.

December auto sales, aided by holiday and year-end promotions, are on pace to hit nearly 1.5 million units, the best in a decade, according to the company.

TrueCar expects automakers to close out 2014 with a combined 16.5 million units in sales, the highest level since 2007.

High performance
The mobile car-shopping space continues to expand.

In October, acquired CarCode to boost its mobile strategy by enabling users to interact one-on-one with car dealers via text messaging (see story). continues to focus on performance and appearance on mobile to streamline the search process and create a more unified experience across platforms (see story).

Automakers are also putting a bigger focus on mobile shopping.

This spring, BMW of North America let fans reserve one of 29 thirtieth anniversary BMW M5s to be sold in the United States exclusively through information revealed on Instagram (see story).

“Today, consumers turn to their mobile devices for pricing and product information while actively shopping for calls on the lot,” Mr. Taira said. “While JD Power estimated that roughly a third of consumers are using a smartphone on the lot, we’re told by our dealer partners usage is well above 50 percent.

“Consumers, however, find the need to ‘hide’ this activity as they prepare for the negotiation process,” he said. “We want it all out in the open for all parties.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is senior editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York