Mobile… Not Just Another Buzz Word!

Today we have some of the sharpest minds in the country working in the auto industry. From dealership personnel who are on the front lines assisting car buyers to vendors who develop software that help dealerships be more efficient, there has never been an industry that relies so heavily on the talent and synergies of its people.

One thing this industry is also known for is their buzz words. A couple years ago it was all about Big Data. Then came Responsive Web Design. At the latest Digital Dealer in Orlando the new buzz was all about Mobile.

But what exactly does Mobile mean? Not all mobile is created equal. Let’s break down just what Mobile actually means and why each area matters for a dealership to be successful.

With as much as 60% of all dealerships website traffic now coming from mobile devices, it’s more important than ever that a dealership has a mobile friendly version for their website. Whether it’s creating a separate website for mobile or having a responsive design that automatically changes whether a consumer is using a tablet or smart phone, a mobile friendly website will enhance the customer online shopping experience making it easy to navigate to inventory and connect with your sales team. Google has also made changes so if a dealership doesn’t have a mobile friendly website it will affect their organic search rank. Since these strategies are always changing it would be a good idea to consult with an SEO expert to make sure you are keeping your dealerships mobile website search engine friendly.
There are many companies out there today that develop mobile apps for car dealerships. While a mobile app can be a great way for a dealership to stay in touch with their customers, many are using them wrong. Since this technology is relatively new many dealerships are having their most recent customers sign up for their dealerships custom mobile app. Then they constantly market to these consumers with things like current rebates and incentives, vehicle specials, etc. Chances are that customer won’t be in the market to purchase another vehicle for 3-5 years.

A 2013 study by Compuware said that 80-90% of consumers will uninstall a mobile app after just 2 uses. So imagine how many of these new customers will uninstall the dealerships mobile app if they aren’t getting relevant notifications?

Instead, the dealership should send relevant notifications that a new customer would be interested in. Using the dealership mobile app for things like current service specials, special events, or any community events the dealership is involved with are all great things to promote using your dealerships mobile app.
Mobile usage is at an all-time high and continues to grow daily. In contrast, newspaper readership continues to decline. Consumers have turned to online sources to get their news, sports, financial advice, and lifestyle interest stories. With more people now using smartphones, Mobile Apps is where these two intersections meet.  Popular mobile apps like Accuweather, ESPN, Huffington Post, Facebook, etc. make the consumers mobile online experience easier and more efficient. The challenge for dealerships has always been how to reach in-market buyers using mobile apps. By integrating GPS technology, dealerships can now use mobile apps to increase both sales and service revenue. By reaching serious car buyers when they are at specific locations like competitor stores or even in their homes, you can now put your competitive message in front of consumers when they are in the final moments of their buying cycle giving your dealership consideration to win the business.
Today mobile is not just a device, it’s a mindset. What used to be an emerging opportunity has become the new normal. So the next time you have a conversation about mobile ask yourself which area the conversation applies. Is it consumer experience or mobile marketing?