Showrooming on the Lot: Mobile Devices and the Car Purchasing Process

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Mobile devices have become necessary tools for the savvy shopper. With a mobile device in hand, consumers can research products, compare prices, and find local businesses with their favorite goods in stock. Although you might associate this “showrooming” behavior with smaller or tech-related purchases, it has actually become a large part of the car purchasing process.

According to a recent joint study by Cars.com and Placed, more and more consumers in the market for a new auto are using their mobile devices to research their options when they hit the dealership lot. While on the dealer lot, mobile-wielding consumers tend to research prices, read dealer reviews, and check the lot’s inventory. While all of these actions could help cement the deal for a salesman, it could also help push a savvy shopper to another dealership. Here are the top six pieces of information mobile users find that persuade them to visit additional dealers (and how your dealership can learn from them).

A better price

57% of the consumers surveyed said that finding a better price while on their mobile device persuaded them to seek out another dealer. How can your dealership take advantage of this? Make sure your site is mobile friendly, easy to navigate, and that the pricing is prominently listed. Even if you anticipate having to negotiate prices, giving a price to start with can help bring in interested customers and give them an idea of where you stand.

Vehicle is in stock at other dealerships

42% of consumers went to any dealership after finding out that their dream vehicle was in stock elsewhere. By keeping your site and, by extension, your mobile site up to date in terms of inventory and beyond, you can help attract potential customers and also avoid potential issues over inaccurate inventory counts.

An advertisement for nearby dealership

33% of consumers visited another dealership after seeing an ad. Targeting local consumers with quality PPC ads will help grab their attention while they’re on the go. Whether you’re using PPC, or relying on your mobile site, we’ve got five ways you can help optimize your local business’s mobile presence.

Better reviews about another dealer or vehicle

24% of consumers found better reviews for competitor dealerships and used them to help guide their shopping experience. Find reviews for your business on the top review sites, claim your profile pages, and work to stay on top of any new reviews that come through. The more you understand what consumers think of your business, the more you’ll be able to improve your service, and prevent potential problems in the future.

Found a competing nearby dealership on map

22% of consumers visited a competitor dealership after seeing it on a map. Make sure your address and contact information is up to date, and sign up for Google’s Places for Business. It will help make your business discoverable on a local level, and put your contact information at your customer’s fingertips.

Compared vehicle specs

14% of consumers changed their mind after comparing specs across a number of vehicles. Make it as easy for visitors to find and understand the specs for each of your vehicles. If possible, highlight differences by comparing two popular makes and models against each other. If you can help visitors make an informed decision, you’ll gain their trust and their business.

Help build your online presence and relationships with potential customers by creating these three types of content.