This blog post is abstracted from the original article, written by Guy Schueller, Auto Industry Director, Google, published in Intersections: Where data meets art and science.
We’ve all heard the words “the year of mobile” before, but regardless of how quickly your business has adapted to mobile, 2017 is the definitive year where your customers have instinctively gone mobile-first.
How your business responds to and services that behavior is central to your success in the auto shopping and purchase journey.
From researching brands while on a lunch break to comparing prices on the dealership lot, mobile has an impact every step of the way and shoppers are within arm’s length of information 24/7.
At Google, we’ve explored the role of mobile and identified five key consumer micro-moments—brief moments of rich intent—where shoppers aim to know, go and buy, all from their mobile devices. It is in these moments of intent where brands and dealers can influence preferences and drive purchase decisions.
Google recently commissioned a behavioral research study and followed consumers through their auto-shopping journeys. The five key moments we identified across consumer mindsets include:
Six out of 10 car shoppers enter the market unsure which car to buy, and 8 in 10 explore multiple brands. Consumers often turn to mobile at the start of their purchase journey to discover new brands or help narrow down their choices.
Early in a car-shopping journey, we saw a woman named Stacy spend almost 15 minutes on her mobile phone searching, reviewing and looking up vehicles. Within that time, she ran two similar yet distinct searches: “best minivan” and “best car for families with car seats and a dog.”
For consumers like Stacy, the brands there in these moments at the beginning of the car-buying journey are the ones likely to be part of the final consideration set when it is time to buy.
For many auto shoppers, the dealership has moved online. Consumers lead busy lives, so they are increasingly turning to mobile to perform preliminary auto research—to find out if a vehicle will suit their lifestyle and needs without having to visit the lot. In fact, the average car shopper makes just two visits to dealerships.
In our study, we saw a mother conduct research on her phone while waiting for her daughter to complete an activity. She used her smartphone to research vehicle features, which consumers traditionally visited the dealership to do.
If you want to reach people like this, make sure your mobile site is optimized so shoppers can continue their research and easily find the answers they are looking for when they have the time. These days, a poorly designed mobile site is akin to a poorly designed dealership itself.
About Guy Schueller
Guy Schueller is the Automotive Vertical Lead at Google, overseeing client-partner teams for GM, FCA, Ford, Nissan/Renault and the Regional Retail Team. Guy has been at Google for five years. Prior to Google, Guy spent nearly two years at Microsoft as the Global Automotive Industry Insights Lead and a decade on the advertising agency side of the business, leading teams at both Starcom (GM) and UM (FCA).
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