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Phablet users dig auto sites

After reading this headline, you may be saying to yourself, "What is a 'phablet?'"

Or holding back a chuckle at the silly sound of the word.

While either of those might be an appropriate response, a "phablet" - a smartphone with a screen size of 5.5 inches or larger, nearing the size of a tablet - is the source of media for a large constituent of mobile users.

And, according to the J.D. Power 2015 Automotive Mobile Site Study, the satisfaction with OEM and third-party automotive websites is higher across all aspects of the online experience among shoppers using them.

"Automotive manufacturer and third-party website designers should be mindful of growing phablet usage and take advantage of the larger screen by displaying more content and adding detail to maximize shopper satisfaction and drive more traffic to dealer showrooms," said Arianne Walker, senior director of automotive media and marketing at J.D. Power. "The time spent on mobile devices for automotive shopping is increasing, and this trend of buying and using phablets is expected to continue."

Breaking down the numbers, the study shows that vehicle shoppers using "phablets" are more satisfied with their individual website experiences than those who use smaller smartphones (797 versus 771, respectively, on a 1,000-point scale).

There are also significant satisfaction gaps in individual study measures for shoppers using larger or smaller smartphones, including satisfaction with information/content (796 versus 769), navigation (783 versus 758), appearance (816 versus 791) and speed (794 versus 767).

Acura, TrueCar shine in website rankings

Looking directly at the ratings of manufacturer-branded and third-party website rankings, on the same 1,000-point scale, Acura ranked the highest (812) in overall customer satisfaction index scores of OEM sites while TrueCar ranked the highest (776) among its third-party rivals.

Here are the top three for each segment:

Manufacturer-branded mobile site rankings

  1. Acura (812)
  2. Infiniti (809)
  3. Fiat (808)

Third-party mobile site rankings

  1. TrueCar (776)
  2. CarGurus & Yahoo! Autos (both 744)
  3. U.S. News Best Cars (742)

by Auto Remarketing Canada