Imagine the world five years ago – the first iPhone was just hitting stores, tablets didn’t exist and mobile web-design was a new word for most developers. Fast-forward to today and you’ll see that smartphones and tablets are integrated into a nearly every facet of our multi-screened world, with mobile devices pacing to outsell desktop PCs for the first time in history. Car shoppers are mobile shoppers, and understanding their evolving consumer behavior can make the difference in getting shoppers to choose to visit your lot, rather than a competitor’s down the road.
Share of use
With about one-third of traffic to Cars.com coming from a mobile device – a 100% increase over the past year – we know that consumers find value in the information they gather through their mobile devices. In fact, a recent analysis of mobile behavior on our site found that shoppers are likely using their mobile devices at some of the most critical points of their journey –while they’re on their way to visit a dealership, as well as while they’re on the dealership lot. In these moments, shoppers are looking for easy access to information, such as directions, reviews and vehicle pricing, to confirm or reject the research they’ve already done online..
Intent to purchase
Shoppers are looking for a reason to choose you, and because mobile shoppers are often ready to start visiting dealerships today, they’re skipping emails and phone calls in favor of loading up driving directions to your store.
Our data shows that mobile shoppers are over 260% more likely to access maps and driving directions, and they’re more than twice as likely to search for a dealership through the dealer locator feature compared with desktop users. Mobile shoppers are also close to three times more likely to read Dealer Reviews, which could have them passing up the closest store to visit your dealership first.
Connecting with mobile shoppers
Before your store jumps into creating a fancy mobile app or buying mobile display ads, start with the basics and make sure you’re providing mobile car shoppers a quality experience when they visit your dealership’s website from a mobile device.
When optimizing your site, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is my mobile website easy to navigate? |Tip: Make sure links are made for fingers, not a computer mouse.
- Can shoppers take action? | Tip: Phone numbers should be click-to-call; addresses should pull into a map function.
- Does my mobile site convey our “why buy from me” message? |Tip: Highlighting specials, reviews and store amenities can help entice shoppers to choose you while they’re making their decision about what dealership to visit.
A fresh Cars.com mobile experience
Because mobile is such an important part of the shopping process, we recently updated the Cars.com mobile website, as well as the Cars.com smartphone app for iPhone and Android devices. The updated design carries the same look and feel as our recently updated desktop site to provide a seamless shopping experience across all Cars.com platforms.
How do you provide a consistent mobile experience to your customers? Share your tips in the comments below!