Summer auto sales came to a positive close at the end of September with strong sales continuing throughout the month. As we look toward the Q4 holiday shopping season, consumers’ digital shopping trends provide important insights for dealers.
1. Update Early. Daily online behavior indicates that shoppers are researching cars at the beginning of the week to prepare well in advance for the weekend’s in-store purchase. Thirty percent of total online inventory views and 37 percent of total leads occur on Monday and Tuesday. As a result, it’s imperative for dealers to update websites and social media with sales information before the workweek starts.
2. Invest in Social. Shoppers who come to dealers’ websites through social channels spend more time on the site than the average visitor, making these platforms critical to reaching interested shoppers and ultimately generating online leads. Shoppers who visited dealerships’ websites from social media such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter spent 20 percent more time on site and viewed 27 percent more pages per visit in September than they did in August.
3. Focus on Mobile. Forty-one percent of traffic on dealer websites comes from tablets and smartphones – consumers are increasingly using mobile devices to research purchases online, including cars. As we take a closer look at online trends, we find that mobile shoppers are spending more time on dealers’ websites and pages year over year. Tablet usage leads the growth, with site visits from these devices increasing 152 percent since last year, while mobile growth compares at 75 percent in that same time.
Overall, we’ve seen consumers’ desire for timely, updated information in the palms of their hands or shared on their favorite social channels. Dealers who make their information available early, on mobile and on social see the payoff in time-on-site, leads and sales.
Dave Winslow is Chief Digital Strategist at Dealer.com