When was the last time you saw a customer walking your lot with their smartphone in hand? My guess is that it wasn’t that long ago – 79% of shoppers will conduct research online while browsing in-store.
More and more of your shoppers are being influenced by their mobile devices as they shop. The folks at Google have released some interesting data about how mobile impacts shoppers in the automotive industry, and I think you can take away some lessons about online advertising.
I’ve pulled the top takeaways from Google’s research. Let’s take a look at how they apply to your dealership.
Adjust your mobile advertising for your peak season. Google found summer and the holiday season are peak months for automotive dealers. We know that as a powersports dealer, summer is a busy time for you, too. To get the most bang for your online advertising buck, consider optimizing your budget for your peak season.
You know shoppers are searching for new motorcycles and ATVs during the summer months, so increase your PPC spend during this timeframe to ensure they’re finding your dealership and not heading to your nearest competitor. You can also create ads that are tailored for the products people are searching for at this time of year. If Yamaha motorcycles are a big seller for you in the summer, create ads specific to the models you carry or seasonal promotions to get shoppers interested in buying.
Use day-parting to get the most from your ads. Most shoppers in Google’s study were searching for a new car over their lunch break instead of after work. If you knew that most of your potential customers spent their lunch hour looking for a new UTV, you’d want to make sure they could easily find your dealership, right?
Day-parting allows you to display your online ads only during the times of day shoppers are most likely to be searching. This can help you two ways – first, shoppers are only seeing your ads when you want them to. If you only want to show your ads during business hours so someone is at your dealership to answer any questions if the shopper calls or stops in, you can control that. The second way it can help you is by optimizing your budget. If your website isn’t eCommerce-friendly and a potential customer has no way of making a purchase from you outside of business hours, you can ensure that they’re not clicking your ad (which costs you money!) when they can’t follow through and make a purchase.
Make your website a resource for shoppers. When a shopper is out on your lot or in your dealership, chances are they’re using their smartphone as a tool to help them research your products and prices. In fact, Google found that the top action people performed with their smartphone while on the lot was making sure they’re getting a fair price.
Help them find all of the information they need by packing your website full of product details, promotions and service options. You can also promote your promotions or lower-than-the-competition pricing in PPC ads to catch their eye if they ask Google a question while at your store.
Your shoppers’ behavior is being influenced more than ever by mobile. Are you doing what it takes to ensure you’re providing the information they need when they do a mobile search from your dealership?
Colleen Malloy is ARI’s director of marketing. Malloy has more than a decade of experience in the powersports industry and previously served as the editor of Motorcycle & Powersports News. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage ARI’s website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff!