What Do Your Visits To Auto Dealerships Say About The Other Places You Go?

Prospective car buyers tend to gravitate around certain places — including, but not limited to specific dealerships. Foursquare connects the dots.

Cars have long been associated with their owners “personal identity.” So to understand car buyers, it makes sense to look at the places where the original “on-the-go consumer” tends to spend large chunks of their time.

That’s what Foursquare did when it analyzed visit data from its flagship city guide and Swarm check-in apps to uncover consumer insights around people who visit auto dealerships.

The location intelligence company looked at both active check-ins as well as passive visits (for users who enable background location). A Foursquare rep also notes that the company’s data is “always aggregated and anonymous and we normalize our data against the US Census to ensure that it is representative.”

Foursquare auto insights graphicThe Value of Visitation Data

Among the topline findings Foursquare saw when examining auto intenders: Foot traffic to luxury showrooms makes up a 16 percent of total car dealership visits, while “mass market dealers” make up 64 percent; third party resellers make up 19 percent of trips to a dealer.

As for the sometimes obvious — and not-so-obvious — place-based affinities that audiences for one type of auto brand tend to exhibit, is it matter of being able to offer better targeting “in the moment?”

Or are these insights better used when planning which kinds of consumers would be most receptive to a particular message?

“The answer here is both,” says Steven Rosenblatt, Foursquare’s president. “At Foursquare, we believe that where you go is the best indicator of who you are. Our location intelligence allows auto marketers to understand potential customers by understanding where they go, who they are and then reach them at the optimal moment.

“Car shopping is a limited, but important, window of time,” Rosenblatt adds. “If you’re a major auto brand, Foursquare’s insights can help you identify and market to your audience. Do they spend their time driving to the beach or to daycare?


He continues: “Do your consumers visit similar, competitor dealerships or do they visit a luxury dealership in addition to yours? Foursquare can answer these questions to help auto marketers not only target ads based on location, but to inform creative, content, partnerships and promotions, as well as bigger picture strategies.”

Auto dealershipFoursquare’s Auto Deal Affinity Breakdown


  • Has an even 50/50 male to female ratio. Ranks the highest market visit share for ages 35-44 (19 percent) but their biggest market is 55+ (37 percent)
  • More likely than the average Foursquare and Swarm users to visit dry cleaners (40 percent), smoothie shops (32 percent) and pet stores (14 percent)
  • Overindex on tastes like fried seafood (102 percent) and hibachi (100 percent)
  • People who go to Nissan also visit: Toyota, Ford, Jeep


  • Visitors love trails (89 percent), outdoor seating, and Vietnamese food
  • People who visit Toyota are also more likely to visit soccer fields (14 percent) & gymnastics gyms (24 percent), Bank of America (24 percent) compared to Chase which is only (10 percent) and USPS (10 percent)
  • People who go to Toyota also visit: Lexus (parent company), Nissan, Mazda


  • Demographic of users tend to skew male (highest out of the 5 mass market dealerships).
  • People who go to Subaru are 60 percent more likely than the average Foursquare and Swarm user to visit an acupuncturist and also overindex at climbing gyms and ski areas.
  • People who got Subaru also visit: Volkswagen, Mazda, Kia


  • Has one of the highest 55+ demographic compared to other mass market companies (similar to Toyota).
  • Overindex at Tim Hortons (198 percent)
  • People who go to Chevrolet also visit: GMC, Cadillac, Ford
  • Compared to other mass market dealership – they don’t really shop at Whole Foods (not even in the top 30 visited chains). They overindex at Meijer (119 percent) and Home Depot (20 percent)
  • Chevrolet visitors are more likely to visit forests (93 percent), hunting supply shops (76 percent), motorcycle shops (75 percent) and fishing spots (74 percent).


  • Visitors tend to index high for fishing spots (90 percent), wings joints (12 percent), recording studios (62 percent), summer camps (39 percent), casinos (130 percent)
  • People who go to Hyundai also visit: Mazda, Kia, Cadillac, Nissan

Land Rover/Jaguar

*Please note this combines both dealership groups together

  • Of all the luxury car brands that Foursquare analyzed, Land Rover/Jaguar skews the highest for visitors between the ages of 45-54 with 16 percent of their total visitors in that age range.
  • People who visit Land Rover or Jaguar index high for tuna tartare (124 percent), cigars (111 percent) and strip steak (129 percent) and Michelin stars (121 percent)
  • They overindex at Pilates gyms (81 percent), golf courses (58 percent), baggage claims and travel lounges (93 percent). They are more likely than average Foursquare and Swarm users to visit leather good stores (111 percent) and club houses (147 percent)
  • People who go to Land Rover/Jaguar go to : Porsche, MINI, Mercedes-Benz Audi


Similar to Land Rover/Jaguar they also have a higher end taste for food such as Michelin stars (138 percent), spas (21 percent) and prix fixe menus (87 percent).

They are more likely to visit real estate offices (73 percent), tailor shops (70 percent) and nightlife spots 68 percent

They love tennis (61 percent more likely to visit a court) and surf spots (20 percent) and travel often (42 percent more likely to visit travel lounges). They are overindex at embassies/consulates (46 percent)

  • People who visit Mercedes-Benz dealership also visit: Porsche, Audi, BMW, Lexus, Volkswagen


  • Skew towards younger visitors. 39 percent of their total visits are ages 25-34.
  • Tastes: thin crust pizza, tea lemonade, pedicures, concerts, lively
  • Categories: Cuban restaurants, daycares, private schools, spiritual centers
  • People who visit Infiniti also go to: Lexus, Acura, BMW, Audi, Nissan


  • Cadillac categories indicate that this group is heavy on the construction industry; we see that construction and landscaping index high (88 percent), warehouses (63 percent) and shipping stores (55 percent).
  • This group index high for “rustic” (80 percent) and items like corned beef and beer cheese.
  • People who visit Cadillac also go to: Chevrolet, GMC, Lexus, KIA, Jeep