Our marketing universe is quickly becoming untethered as smartphones and tablets gain a broader share of web access to information and entertainment. The mobile marketing world is still new to many dealers and we’re experiencing a learning curve about how to market, manage, and leverage this new landscape. Here are 6 Quick Info Insights to help dealers get a quick course in Mobile 101.
1. Mobile is Exploding
29% of web traffic page views are from mobile phones and tablets, and 71% from desktop or laptop computers. Remember, smartphones are just mini-computers and shoppers are using them to obtain information on product availability via a streamlined process. Photos, videos, and pricing info need to be easily accessible on mobile platforms. Dealership window stickers offering QR or Barcodes that provide more information than is shown on vehicle stickers helps connect shoppers to the dealership and provides a way for dealers to track these prospects.
With mobile users spending more than two hours a day on their devices, dealers have ample opportunities to connect with and advertise to these consumers and potential buyers. Remember, these mobile viewers are down the funnel in their car buying decision-making. Make sure that you are prepared to convert them.
The rule for mobile: Make it simple for shoppers to connect with auto dealership team members, either via an instant call process or text messaging.
2. What your Competition is doing in the Mobile Space
Dealers who have been operating in the mobile space for a while have focused on text messaging as a primary way to engage mobile shoppers. The response time is quicker, and more users (68%+) use text messaging regularly on their cell phones.
Dealers in the digital ad space still purchase keywords, and Google, Yahoo and other network mobile ads are also gaining traction. This is helping to establish brands and drive traffic to dealership sites. Ads on social media channels are also gaining traction. However, it’s important to have a laser focus on the ad and not a generic vehicle ad with a payment. Promote a specific event and offer a “call to action” or incentive to drive more traffic from ads.
3. Mobile website or App: The choice is Yours
This is not an either/or proposition, as you can have both a mobile-friendly website and an app. With fast 3G or 4G data networks both sites or apps work fine. Since many mobile users delete “one-time shopping” apps after the task is completed, a dealership app should provide other functionality for the customer after a purchase is completed. This could mean offering online service appointment scheduling, coupon updates and offers, etc.
Virtually all the major website providers offer mobile solutions that meet the needs of the dealership and online shoppers. Navigation on smartphones should be simple and provide visitors with an easy “click to call” button to contact sales or service teams, view inventory, or get simple directions.
When considering building an “app,” remember developers have to create three separate apps for iPhone, Android and Windows phone users. In addition to the cost of app development consider the changing platforms, required tech upgrades to accommodate changes in the various operating systems, and the cost of a project manager on the team to guide all these initiatives.
4. Social Media Channels Drive Mobile Traffic
154 million Americans are active monthly on social channels using mobile devices. And through these social channels consumers are finding their way to businesses where they buy products and services.
Every social channel offers ad programs and content posting opportunities where you can engage channel members. Connecting with auto shoppers by posting videos, service advice and tips, updates on parts and accessories, is a great way to drive more showroom traffic and generate calls to the dealership. Be a good neighbor. Nothing turns a potential customer off more than having a load of ads shoved their way on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest. When you provide value, prospects and customers recognize and appreciate those efforts, and very often they will share that content with their online friends.
5. Track Mobile Conversion Rates
Tracking conversion rates in auto retail means measuring how many visitors generated a lead, a sale, or further in-depth visits to the site. You can track when a mobile visitor uses the click-to-call or text feature from within the mobile site. And, once that info is in the CRM system, that prospect can be tracked to the end of engagement. It’s also important to have detailed analytics for both the traditional and mobile websites to measure visits, page views and of course vehicle detail page (VDP) visits. Many companies use Google Analytics. But if you do not want “big brother” watching, you might want to consider Clicky Web Analytics (getclicky.com), or the free W3 Counter Analytics (w3counter.com).
6. Use Incentives on Mobile Devices to Close the Sale
No matter how a shopper finds a dealership, consumers still respond to calls to action and incentives when considering or making buying decisions. Be prepared and offer an incentive when a prospect is on the fence and deciding to visit your dealership versus dealership B.
Coupons can easily be pushed to smartphones, tablets, and PCs offering gift cards, rebates, discounts, or other value added items. Give your sales team an edge to closing the sale with an attractive incentive for your customers.