Why Mobile-only Shoppers are Changing Car Sales

If you had to guess, how big would you say your dealership’s showroom is?

25 percent consumers mobile only

Somewhere in the neighborhood of 15,000 or 18,000 square feet, maybe bigger? The front façade is probably in tip-top shape, the last of the 2014s are glistening, perfectly detailed and merchandised online. And I bet it’s full of amenities – lounge areas, a coffee bar, flat-screen TVs, WiFi –  all of which help your customers feel at home when they come visit. But that’s not entirely accurate.

The truth is that for one out of every four of your customers, your dealership is far smaller. In fact, it lives on a screen that’s only about five inches wide – a smartphone. I sure hope the espresso maker fits.

Understanding Mobile-Only Shoppers

Earlier this year, we commissioned a study with the research firm Placed Inc. to better understand how car shoppers use their mobile devices during the shopping process, and to learn how mobile affects consumer decisions on dealership lots. What we found is that an astounding 25% of consumers used only a smartphone to do automotive research before visiting a dealership.

Now that’s a radical concept…

A Fresh Look at Segmentation and the Consequences to Dealer Marketing

Although most dealers don’t perform formal market segmentation analysis, the vast majority understand and use some form of segmentation.

Consumer Marketing Segmentation

While there is value in a more formal practice, changes in consumer behavior are causing us to take a fresh look at the broader subject and rethink our approach to segmentation. Regardless of the dealership’s desire, or even tolerance for formal marketing practice, this new wave of change merits understanding. It brings opportunity and consequences to dealership website design and other communication challenges.

The formal study of market segmentation has been around since the 1950s. However, there is evidence that the practice of segmentation was being executed in some areas even 200 years ago.

Over the past six decades, marketers have used cluster analysis (when the data is available) or segmentation trees to divide markets along the following criteria:

Keeping a Work-Life Balance – Michael Hyatt Shares 3 Vital Aspects of Balance

“Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance you must keep moving” - Albert Einstein

wilde e coyote life work balance

In the HBO series True Detective, in episode 3, Marty (Woody Harrelson) was having a slight break down where he explained that “he felt like Wile E. Coyote, running off a cliff, but kept running and running by the possibility that if he kept on running he might just be fine”.

Side Note: If you have NOT yet watched True Detective on HBO, you’re missing out on some of the best TV ever!

Of course, we all know Wile E. Coyote eventually looks down and gravity kicks in.

Accepting too many projects, failing to say ”no” to another when you should have, working long hours into the night, working past 10 pm for a delivery, speaking at too many events, thoughts of month-end sales quota. All they do is prevent a good night’s sleep.

And, that’s just work. Add responsibilities of a family with young children into the mix, house, pet – no time for hobbies. Where’s that jet-pak when you need it?

When Marty spoke of Wile E. Coyote, running off a cliff only to keep running and running, it resonated with me, as I many times feel the same way. If I keep running (keep doing what I do) and I don’t look down, things might be just fine. Heck, I may even make it to the other end where there’s land, allowing me to possibly slow down a bit. Problem: That rarely happens.

Are You Ignoring this Godzilla-Sized Email Trend?

Mobile continues to take over the world. Here are some recent stats on email marketing and how you can apply them to improve your marketing results.

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 5.29.49 PM

Litmus.com reported that the percentage of emails opened on a mobile device reached a new high of 51% last year. For webmail users such as Aol, Yahoo, Gmail and Hotmail, the mobile open rate bumps to 61%.

Have you looked at how your emails render on a smart phone? How much do people have to manipulate your content to be able to easily read it?

A study from Acxiom last year analyzed what people do if an email doesn’t look good on their phone:

- 70% delete it

- 28% use a computer

- 16% unsubscribe

- 9% try to read it

If you’re not taking advantage of a responsive design that displays your content based on the device it is being viewed on, you’re hurting your results.

Last year we switched our newsletter format to a responsive design. This means if you look at the newsletter on a desktop, you’ll see a two-column version. If you look at it on a smartphone, the left column is automatically suppressed so only the column with the stories displays which makes it much easier to read on a mobile device. Our internal study showed the average click through rate for the non-responsive design was 28.5% versus 31.3% for the responsive design.

How does that number translate into customers?

If you email 5000 newsletters and have a 25% open rate, the responsive design is helping an additional 35 people click through which can add up over time.

Some resources to help you with mobile email design:

1. See how your email looks on different devices



2. How-To Guide to Responsive Email Design:


3. Free email templates:


4. Responsive Email Design


What do you think about these stats?

What have you noticed at your dealership?