NEW DELHI: Using smartphones to reduce ‘media friction’ could help auto marques in India boost sales by as much as one million units, a new report claims.

The study from Facebook, KPMG and Nielsen – Eliminating friction in automobile path to purchase – describes friction as consumer dropout during the path to purchase because of incremental steps or non-essential inconveniences.

In the case of four-wheeled vehicles it identified such friction as being responsible for 26% of consumer dropouts; media friction specifically accounted for 9% of dropouts – or one third of the total, the Economic Times reported.

The picture was even more gloomy in the two-wheeled market, where total friction accounted for 34% of dropouts, with media friction being responsible for almost half (16%) of that.

But by using mobile more effectively in the media mix, it is possible to reduce media friction and increase sales opportunity, the report said.

Already, around seven in ten car purchases in India are influenced by smartphone, a figure that will increase to eight in ten during the next five years, so optimising mobile spending could reduce media friction to 7.8% and unlock one million units of sales opportunity.

Similarly, bringing media friction in the two-wheel market down to 14.4% would potentially create 2.6m units of sales opportunity.

“As we start seeing an increase in demand for vehicles, shoppers will spend more time researching their next vehicle on their smartphones than at a dealership,” said Sandeep Bhushan, Director, Facebook India and South Asia.

“This makes it imperative for automotive marketers to devise their strategies, keeping in mind mobile will be the engine that will drive their growth.”

Mritunjay Kapur, Partner and Head- Technology, Media and Telecom, KPMG in India, added that younger, more digitally savvy and informed buyers were making the purchase cycle more challenging.

“The new consumers may now evaluate the total cost of owning a vehicle with that of a cab-hailing service, or a car-leasing service,” he pointed out.

Sourced from Economic Times; additional content by WARC staff