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There were several takeaways from Nielsen's recent mobile study surrounding restaurants, travel, and the automotive industry, but the one that surprised me the most was that 43% of automotive searches on mobile devices were done to do price comparisons. The rise of mobile in our daily lives means that many of the activities that once tethered us to our desks at home or at work can now be done on the go, so I knew instinctively that the number of people comparing prices while out on the lot was probably high. I simply had no idea it was THAT high.
What does this mean for dealers? With around 20% of website traffic coming from mobile devices, the need to simplify the experience and increase the engagement is higher than ever. They aren't just using their mobile devices to get directions and a phone number. They're doing live research. It could be while they're watching television and using their mobile device as the second screen of interaction. It could be while they're chit-chatting with their spouse about that weird noise they heard in their engine on the way to the restaurant. Then, of course, it could be while they're at a dealership looking at vehicles, in which case the need for a dealership's mobile presence to offer price and vehicle details on inventory is paramount.
Mobile sites are not just a "checkbox" to be covered anymore. The times are behind us when the questions surrounding mobile being asked to a website vendor was, "do you have mobile sites included?" Today's savvy dealer (and business in general) must explore more deeply in order to make certain that the mobile sites are perfect. They should be responsive, have simple methods of communication with the dealership on every page, and present details about the vehicles including big pictures (that don't slow down the site) and further information.
The second most important statistic from the study:
Overall the study found that half of the mobile automotive search audience were doing longer term research but roughly half (49 percent) were “looking to make a purchase within the day.” However 36 percent of this group converted “within the hour.”
If that's not a compelling piece of information to make you want to maximize your mobile site effectiveness, nothing will convince you.
Here's an infographic from the study. The full study is available by registering.