By David Metter
If your dealership has a mobile website, you are probably aware that 30 to 50 percent of your total website traffic are mobile users. You also know these mobile users are performing actions with their smartphones that are aligned with serious shopping behavior. In a recent study, Edmunds.com found that mobile users on its website engage in these five relevant behaviors: they shop, they view inventory, they click on ads, they submit leads and their page views rival those of wired shoppers.
Your mobile marketing strategy should include ways to connect with and convert mobile users as they engage in these key shopping behaviors. An effective strategy goes beyond having a responsive website. Many marketing tactics that work well for customers using desktops and laptops don't work with your mobile customers. It all comes down to how mobile shoppers use their phones.
According to the Edmunds.com study, 79 percent of mobile users are shopping, defined as viewing at least one vehicle. On dealership websites, mobile shopping activities include researching and comparing prices, reading reviews and calculating payments. It's important to keep in mind that although the average American spends three hours on their smartphone every day, the window of time you have to connect with these users is smaller than it is with your wired customers. Does your mobile website provide information on pricing, rebates and other special offers? Are your payment calculators and review pages mobile optimized? The more activities mobile shoppers can do on your site, the more time they will spend there.
2. Viewing Inventory
Mobile visitors view approximately nine percent more inventory pages than their counterparts using desktops and laptops. Are your vehicle display pages (VDPs) mobile-optimized? Mobile users watch a lot of videos; can your inventory videos be viewed on smartphones? Every mobile VDP should include a clear call to action right next to the product details, and text should be large enough to be viewed on a smaller screen.
3. Clicking on Ads
Edmunds.com found that mobile users are 2.5 times more likely to click on ads than wired site visitors, and they perform key shopping activities on the sites they click through to. This high level of ad engagement presents an opportunity for dealerships to convert shoppers into leads into showroom visitors. Mobile ads should provide a specific reason for shoppers to click through, such as a special offer or immediate incentive to come in and take a test drive--especially if they are in the vicinity.
4. Submitting Leads
The Edmunds.com study reveals a rapid growth in mobile lead submissions and their data shows these mobile leads close at the same rate as, or even better than, traditional leads. Higher lead counts are attributed to mobile optimization of lead forms and the ability to submit leads via text or "click to call" buttons.
To increase mobile lead submissions, create messages that give mobile users a reason to click or text now. Examples might include a "no pressure price quote," "easy payment quotes," or a gift card (similar to mobile advertising incentives). When it comes to mobile leads, it's also very important to have a process in place where the leads get an instant response. If a mobile shopper doesn't get the information they're looking for from your mobile website--quickly--they will move on. Next!
5. Viewing Pages
Even though mobile users spent less time on Edmunds.com than wired shoppers, they viewed as many or more pages during that time. What this tells me is that mobile users are looking for the same information and their shopping process is similar to shoppers using desktop and laptop computers. The smaller screens make it easier and faster to see whether information is available. The takeaway here is to ensure all relevant information and calls to action on your mobile pages are "above the fold" so mobile users don't have to scroll down to find what they're looking for.
The age of mobile is no longer just around the corner; it's here, and 30 to 50 percent of your potential customers are using mobile devices to shop for their next vehicle. Make it easy for them to connect and engage with your dealership, and you can easily convert these serious shoppers into leads and sales.
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