Mobile phones have become engrained in our everyday lives, changing our daily habits, the way we communicate, and even the car buying experience. In fact, last month mobile visitors accounted for 37% of all traffic to Dealer.com Seamless Websites.
Car dealers can embrace the mobile revolution, as it offers several new marketing opportunities. Here are three essential trends we’ve seen across the Dealer.com network, and a few actions dealers can take immediately to incorporate mobile into their strategies:
1. “Showrooming” is the end of a long mobile research process
All dealers have seen shoppers in their showrooms, “driving” with their phones. They walk the floors, smartphone in hand, comparing the pricing information they’re seeing on the sticker with offers from competing dealerships’ websites. This “showrooming” behavior represents the end – not the beginning – of a lengthy research process for mobile shoppers. While 63 percent of shoppers use mobile phones at the actual dealership, 81 percent are using them throughout their research process. This means shoppers are on your website looking at your inventory before even stepping foot in your dealership.
And that’s a good thing. Showrooming can build trust and reinforce a purchasing decision if customers see on their mobile phones that your prices are consistent and your vehicles in stock are reflected accurately both online and offline. A well-designed vehicle details page can also allow your showroom traffic to get more information about a car at the point of sale – helping complete the transition from the online to in-store experience.
2. Mobile users shop numerous dealerships
Mobile shoppers who are looking to purchase a car are 72 percent more likely to visit multiple dealerships compared to non-mobile users. Of those who do, 52 percent do so because of information they gather on their mobile devices.
What can dealers do to stay top-of-mind? Deliver an optimal mobile site experience. Today’s mobile shoppers are looking for more than just your dealership’s phone number and basic information. They want a complete site experience, with well-merchandized inventory and comprehensive dealership information. Across the Dealer.com network, dealers who provide this type of experience average 162% more mobile leads than they do on non-Seamless mobile sites, with these leads coming from sources throughout the site – service, finance, trade-in and more. The patterns of behavior on Seamless mobile also parallel those patterns of behavior on desktop more closely than before, indicating that mobile shoppers expect a complete – and fully optimized – mobile experience.
3. Mobile shoppers span every major demographic
It’s not just Millennials using mobile devices to shop. Older generations, including baby boomers and seniors, are increasingly embracing mobile devices throughout the shopping journey as well. Dealers without an optimized mobile experience are missing out on an opportunity to reach a large demographic with huge purchasing power.
Dealers should always consider their mobile strategy as central to their business, and that strategy should include a website solution that delivers a seamless experience across every device, while still providing mobile-specific optimization and content to satisfy the mobile shopper.
Mobile isn’t just a part of your strategy – it should be the center of the strategy.
Bob George is the Director of Product Management, Websites, for Dealer.com