Dealership Marketing

Black Friday has Faded, Shoppers are Shifting and Some Say it’s Dead

Tis the season. And we should be thinking about cookies, and decorations, and that creepy Elf sitting on a shelf waiting for a mischievous situation to appear.

I am soooo glad my kids are too old for that. My elf would be sitting in the same spot the entire season. I would have to come up with some good lies. And I am not so hot at that.

So why is black on the mind?

Black Friday was just last week, and it definitely told us something about the changing shopping habits of Americans. Including automotive shopping.

elf on the shelf

Historically, Black Friday was the opening of the floodgate for holiday shoppers. The deals, the excitement, the kitsch of it all brought shoppers out in droves to kick off the hunt for a deal, insane spending, and a few well-placed elbows. And generally, economists could gauge a spending forecast for the season based on this one day.

Well, the jingle has jangled, and for the first time Black Friday was beat out by…Cyber Monday!

And why not? Shoppers got the same deals online as they would in the store for the most part, and could do so from the comfort of their couch while still digesting their turkey and pecan pie (I’m not a fan of pumpkin).

Now, you may be thinking “Why do I care? People still need to come on-lot to purchase a car!

Here is the reason…

Black Friday spending went down approximately 3%.(National Retail Federation)
Cyber Monday spend was up by 15% (Time)

People are, and have been, shifting more and more of their shopping process to online, by mobile device. That does NOT exclude the automotive industry. The road to the sale is so completely different (some say it’s dead) than ever before, and for us to ignore the web and mobile is to ignore the majority of our customers.

Here are a few stats that should convince you that your website MUST be mobile friendly now:


  • 9 out of 10 mobile searches lead to some form of ACTION. (Source: SearchEngineLand)
  • 50% of videos viewed on YouTube are by mobile device. (YouTube / Google)
  • 1 in 3 shoppers who used their mobile device as a part of the purchase process located and/or called a dealership from that mobile device. (thinkwithgoogle)

Your customers are using mobile more than any other technology to find you, to get directions to your store, to call you, and to research the desired car. With the average consumer visiting less than 3 dealerships before purchasing, why would you ever take a risk with your mobile presence?

If we can learn one thing from this season, besides the fact that Black Friday is fading away, it is that shoppers have shifted. Shopping on mobile is the new norm, and your web presence must be ready. 56% of automotive shopping during the weekend happens on mobile — probably while they are in your dealership shopping the best local deals!

Make Sure Your Website is Responsive.

If you’re frequent DealerRefresh and are part of the community, then you’re ahead of the game and there is little to no need to define “Responsive”. For you noobs, Responsive means your website responds to any device-tablet, PC, laptop, smartphone for optimal viewing and interaction experience.

“Day by day, the number of devices, platforms, and browsers that need to work with your site grows. Responsive web design represents a fundamental shift in how we’ll build websites for the decade to come.”- Jeffrey Veen

Responsive is not a nice addition to your digital presence. It is a necessity.

Clean It Up!

Review your site and omit the clutter, the one too many pop-ups, and the distracting floating heads that get in the way.

When you review your dealers website by desktop, YOU NEED to do it on mobile as well. Preferably on the most popular mobile devices (iphone, Android and tablets). You may be surprised with what you run into. And remember, if you get frustrated or annoyed with your own website, so does the shopper!

Create an experience that shoppers want! One that’s easy, across desktop and mobile.

Let’s Talk About It


  • What does your website look like on mobile devices?
  • Which is easier to navigate, your dealers desktop or mobile website?
  • Do you hate Elf on the Shelf as much as me?