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Joey Little

Joey Little Vice President of Social Strategy

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The Cross-Device Shopping Journey: Part I

Smartphones and Tablets and Laptops, Oh My!multipledevices-copy.png?width=200

A Virtual Experience

A car shopping journey isn’t simple anymore, and consumers are using more devices and types of technology than ever to make their purchases. That means dealerships are striving to create the best cross-channel experiences for their consumers.

For consumers on car-buying journeys, devices and channels only continue to increase. This makes it more and more difficult to understand what exactly causes a customer to decide to buy from your dealership. While marketing and targeting significantly helps gain and keep customers, even more solutions exist to guide a consumer’s car-shopping journey to your dealership’s path to purchase.

Remember, a buyer’s shopping journey is done primarily online:

  • 91% of consumers use a personal computer or laptop for research.
  • 80% use their smartphone to shop or research.
  • 47% use a tablet to do their shopping research.
  • 70% of the buyer’s journey is complete before they even contact you.

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If your dealership wants to strengthen its appeal to car shoppers, it’s important to take a buyer’s entire journey with them, and the best way to do that in today’s online research and shopping world is to reach out to shoppers—before they’ve reached out to you—through efficient, fast, multiple-device-friendly online outlets.

 

It’s a Winding Trail Toward Making a Purchase

A buyer’s shopping journey has several steps, or lifecycles, and it’s important your dealership is able to identify which part of the journey a buyer is in and use the correct approach. This way your dealership has the ability to approach a buyer before he or she even realizes your dealership has the solution to that’s being searched for.

Here are a few simple ways to appeal to the majority of consumers who are wrapped up in the cross-device shopping journey:

Be mobile-friendly. First and foremost, it’s key to make your website mobile-friendly and viewable on any and every device and browser. It’s also vital that your site loads quickly, or it will lose consumers even faster:

  • 67% of consumers move between devices when they’re shopping online.
  • 2 out of 3 smartphone users say mobile-friendly sites make them more likely to buy a business’s products or services.
  • Sites with a response time of 1-5 seconds cause users to feel unsure and become distracted.

 

Reach out to consumers before they reach out to you. Make sure your general brand and your brand advocates are working for you. When branding is working well, consumers who are in market can easily run across your dealership and your website online during their research stage.

Know who’s really still car shopping. If you have the technology that provides you with the down-low on who’s looking for a vehicle, even if they haven’t reached out to you or are marked as an inactive lead in your CRM, it can help your dealership gain back the customers who would’ve fallen by the wayside otherwise.

Keep content flowing on a consistent schedule. Consumers like consistency. 61% of consumers are more likely to buy from a company that delivers customized, real-time content. It makes them feel like they can count on you and trust your brand. It’s also key to make sure your content is helpful to consumers and that you’re not advertising throughout your content, aside from a call-to-action at the end. This will ensure your consumers continue reading your content and come back for more on a regular basis.

Interact. Today’s consumers love to interact. Make sure you’re responding online, whether that be via email, Facebook comments, reviews, or otherwise.

Be available online. Make sure your dealership knows where the majority of its consumers lurk. It’s generally beneficial to create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn along with a blog to accompany your website. All of the social media sites listed are mobile-friendly, as well, which is great for your brand. Other social media platforms that are helpful to utilize include Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, Flickr, and Tumblr.

To appeal to modern consumers, who are always switching between devices and do the majority of their shopping and research online, it’s important to make your dealership’s brand and website available to them via several outlets. Bridging the gap between your consumer and your dealership as quickly, efficiently, and readily as possible is the best way to ensure more customers choose your dealership.

The second image used in this post was provided by freedigitalphotos.net.

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