From researching to locating a dealership, mobile plays a huge role in the way consumers shop for cars today. We investigated search patterns and foot traffic data to uncover popular times shoppers visit the lot, so brands can be there and be useful via mobile in key moments—both on the lot and off.
The auto purchase journey is increasingly influenced by mobile. Ten years ago, the average car shopper made five visits to dealerships in order to research potential vehicles.1 Today, that number has dropped to two.2 We've uncovered the most popular times for consumers to visit the lot, so you can take advantage of these key moments and ensure people head to your dealership in one of those two visits—and not your competitor's.
The most popular times of year for consumers to pound the pavement at the dealership are during summer and the holiday season.3
While an always-on strategy will help you drive foot traffic year round, during these peak months consider adjusting your mobile budgets so your ads appear when people are searching for auto information in the vicinity of your dealership.
During these busy periods, auto shoppers prefer checking out cars on their lunch break rather than after work hours.4
Talk to your marketing team about implementing day-parting, so you can reach these consumers in the right moments—like just before lunchtime, when they're searching for local dealerships to visit.
When they're on the lot, consumers rely on their smartphones to provide real-time advice and information. The top action people perform with their phones while on the lot is confirming that they are getting a good price on a vehicle.5
Make sure you're providing the right information, such as inventory updates and local incentives, in a mobile-friendly format. Then, when shoppers are right there and ready to buy, they'll feel confident they're getting a great deal and are more likely to say "Yes!" to your brand.
1 McKinsey Advanced Industries, "Innovating automotive retail", Feb 2014, United States.
2 Google/TNS, Auto Shopper Study, 2016, United States. Consumer Barometer n=526.
3 Google Data, Aggregated and anonymized foot traffic to any auto dealerships from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, 2015.
4 Google Data, Aggregated and anonymized foot traffic to any auto dealerships from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, July and August 2015.
5 Millward Brown Digital and Polk, "Automotive Shopper Path to Purchase," September 2015, U.S.