Smartphones are responsible—in a BIG way—for how the automotive market is changing. Not only are consumers more mobile, they’re also empowered to access more information than ever before while on the go. They have the power of Google in their pockets, and they aren’t afraid to use it. Everything from vehicle comparisons to consumer reviews to feedback about specific dealerships is available online, and smartphones make it possible for your customers to access all this information directly from your showroom floor.
The most valued demographic for the automotive industry consists of adults aged 50 and under who are making a good living, at least $75,000 a year. 80% of consumers in this demographic own smartphones, and they are spending more time using them than desktops and TVs. It’s no surprise, then, that smartphones are increasingly making their way into the vehicle-purchasing process. In fact, a recent Cars.com study found 59% of shoppers used their smartphones to research vehicles before ever setting foot in a dealership showroom. This major shift gives dealers a whole new opportunity, and it’s important to capitalize on it and make it work for you.
The mobile market today continues to expand, with businesses focused on ensuring mobile- friendly interactions across their platforms. In order to take advantage of the changing landscape and ensure your dealership offers the best mobile solutions for consumers, keep the following in mind:
- Think mobile. Digital marketing has gone mobile. Statistics show more Google searches are now done via a mobile device than via desktop; in fact, more than 50% of all searches are done on a mobile device. 87% of people access their Facebook accounts on their mobile devices, and more than 60% of digital media time is spent on mobile. For automotive marketers, this presents both a challenge and an opportunity. By meeting the growing needs of an increasingly mobile consumer market, dealers will be able to reach broader audiences and, in turn, increase sales. Work to ensure you’re creating mobile-friendly campaigns that are accessible across a variety of platforms—and you’ll ensure consumers turn to you for their vehicle needs.
- Catch the calls. Phone calls are still a popular way for consumers to reach your dealership—the second most popular way, in fact, with the most popular way being showing up on the lot unannounced. And that means it’s extremely important to catch customer calls, return any missed calls, and be a knowledgeable and trustworthy resource when speaking with shoppers. Since shopping has become a mobile event, shoppers are more likely to call dealerships while using their smartphones—and this makes it very important to add a click-to-call feature in your ads and on your website, making it a lot easier for customers whenever they want to reach you. Additionally, keep in mind the benefits of call-attribution technology, which allows dealers to understand exactly which keywords or pages led shoppers to call or visit.
- Simplicity is key. It’s easy for consumers to get overwhelmed with all the information at their fingertips, so shoppers will appreciate dealerships that offer straightforward, easy-to-understand information. A recent Facebook study confirms 70% of mobile vehicle shoppers felt overwhelmed by excess information. For dealerships, this makes information presentation and delivery exceptionally important. To make things easier and more appealing for shoppers, consider smaller, easy-to-digest segments, plenty of images, and video. By keeping things simple and leaning in to the things that appeal to today’s shoppers, dealerships will stand out and win over more consumers.
Mobile is the way of the world, and it’s vital for dealerships to adopt strategies that will help them maximize their impact in the marketplace. Consumers are turning to smartphones for just about all their researching, shopping, and communication needs—and they’re on the lookout for businesses that are willing and able to keep up with the trends that meet their needs. You’ll stay on top of the competition and win shopper loyalty when you embrace the mobile revolution and become a pro at connecting with on-the-go consumers!
Author: Joey Little
Joey Little serves as Director of Digital and Social Engagement for AutoAlert. An expert in customer experience management, he educates automotive professionals at speaking engagements across the country. With results-driven advice and proven industry knowledge, he assists dealerships in reaching their audiences and increasing business via their social platforms.