An Integrated Shopping Experience Begins and Ends on the Smartphone

 

If I were to break down the typical auto shopper experience today

It would begin and end with the customer’s smartphone.

 

There is no arguing that the primary access point to your dealership

For someone making a purchase decision

Is the person’s smartphone

The use of which is increasing at unprecedented rates compared to anything else ever.

 

But pounding you with statistics to prove a point accomplishes little.

You already know the statistics on mobile usage and adoption because you are one of the stats.

 

The real challenge is how to integrate the use of mobile into your dealership marketing strategy.

To do this, let’s take a deep dive into a few simulated scenarios.

 

Ideal Simulated Customer Experience: Integrated

 

You are driving in your car, listening to commercial radio when suddenly an ad plays for a local dealer that catches your interest.

You can’t memorize the phone number to call but you remember the dealership name,

So you search for the dealership on your smartphone (once you have stopped at the next light of course).

A click-to-call button appears in the browser of your Google Search and so you press the button to call.

 

(Take notice that in this scenario the dealership’s website is bypassed)

 

During the call the the person on the other end, ideally a skilled automotive BDC rep, engages with you to determine your needs.

She records your mobile phone number and verifies that you are okay with receiving text messages from the dealership.

You agree because that is your preferred method of communication.

You also schedule an appointment to meet with a sales rep about a specific vehicle,

The one from the radio ad that caught your interest.

 

Shortly after you end the call you receive a text message from the dealership

In the message is a link to the dealership’s responsive website, which you click.

While on the site you look at a few cars before getting distracted,

Not converting and not returning anytime soon.

 

Later in the evening you are on the couch watching TV, smartphone in hand.

You are sifting through your Facebook News Feed when suddenly a paid targeted targeted ad from the dealership you called earlier appears.

Naturally this captures your attention and so you click on the ad.

As a result of doing so you are now looking at vehicles again on the dealership’s responsive website.

 

The next morning you receive a text message reminder about your appointment, thankfully because the appointment was not on your mind

And now you are on your way to your appointment at the dealership.

 

I am going to stop here because hopefully you get the picture.

You are truly engaged at this point with the dealership,

All from your smartphone via text message, social media, and responsive website design.

And now you are in the store.

 

 

Now, let’s look at a non-ideal scenario starting off the same exact way

With you driving in your car, listening to commercial radio when suddenly an ad plays for a local dealer that catches your interest.

You can’t memorize the phone number to call but you remember the dealership name,

So you search for the dealership on your smartphone (once you have stopped at the next light of course).

 

Failed Simulated Customer Experiences: Not Integrated

 

Fail #1 – Your Google Sucks

This time however the dealership does not have a click-to-call campaign,

Their Google listing is inadequate and thus does not give you a number to call, and

Their SEO sucks so you wind up inquiring with their competitor who is on their game.

 

Fail #2 – Your Site Sucks on Mobile

Or maybe you do manage to find their website listed in the Google Search

You click through but the site is not responsive

So you leave because you can’t navigate the site efficiently.

 

Fail #3 – You Don’t Offer Text Messaging

Or maybe you manage to call the dealership and speak with somebody

You schedule an appointment, but

The dealership does not offer text messaging, so

They record your email address to send you an email confirmation.

You miss the email because it’s buried in your inbox,

Or because Google classified it as mass marketing mail.

A day later the dealership sends a reminder email, which of course you do not see

 

Guess what happens??

 

That’s right, you never show up at the dealership because it’s not on your mind.

The dealership calls your cell phone but you don’t recognize the number and so you don’t answer.

The dealer leaves a voicemail but you don’t actually listen to it until later that evening when the dealership is closed.

 

Now you are back on the couch watching TV, smartphone in hand

Sifting through your Facebook News Feed when suddenly a paid targeted ad appears from the a competing dealership.

Naturally this captures your attention and so you click on the ad

As a result of doing so you are now looking at vehicles again on the competing dealership’s responsive website.

 

 

As I stated earlier, you don’t need more statistics

You need an integrated dealer marketing strategy

One that effectively incorporates the proper Local, Mobile, and Social concepts so that you can engage with potential customers

Where you know you will have their attention: On their smartphone.

 

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Ryan is a creative, resourceful, and resilient B2B sales and marketing technologist who works with people and businesses on a variety of levels to help elevate their game, their brand, and their businesses. Text ‘autoconversion’ to 555888 to opt in and receive text communications from Ryan @ AutoConversion.

About the Author

Ryan Gerardi
Ryan is a creative, resourceful, and resilient B2B sales and marketing technologist who works with people and businesses on a variety of levels to help elevate their game, their brand, and their businesses. Text 'autoconversion' to 555888 to opt in and receive text communications from Ryan @ AutoConversion.

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