Today’s car shopper no longer relies on dealership visits to gather the information they need. Now, potential buyers spend much less time on lots, averaging just two visits. They do most of their research online, often on mobile devices.
As you’ll see in this Think With Google article, today’s car-shopping process consists of a series of micro-moments. Each of those moments presents dealers with new opportunities to connect with potential customers.
Today’s car shoppers are replacing face-to-face interactions with searches for online reviews from trusted experts like auto blogs, review sites, and even YouTube videos. Once they’ve narrowed down their choices, they go more granular, hunting for details on fuel efficiency, safety features, and other specifics.
With a specific make and model in mind, they then start to research price, looking for data that tells them how much the average dealership will sell for. While the days of traditional pricing negotiations for deals may be over, bargain hunters still use the digital buying process to find a steal. Some savvy shoppers will research which times of year they might strike a better deal, and are willing to time their purchases accordingly.
When car shoppers are close to making a purchase decision, they begin to look for dealerships nearby that currently carry the exact car they’re looking to buy. This is the most important micro-moment for dealers to win. When you’re able to spot a low-funnel shopper who has specified the make and model they’re looking for, along with their geographical location, and all of that information matches your inventory, you’re quickly approaching a sale.
Searches for specific inventory are growing more than four times faster than more general auto searches, which means the ability to direct shoppers straight to your VDPs is vital. This is the most valuable micro-moment, and your best chance of guiding a shopper directly to your lot. Which means you want to ensure you’re utilizing the tools that will garner those lucrative VDP views.
Distributing views to the cars that need them most to sell is key to increasing turn and minimizing wasted spending.
Clearly technology has created a new world for both shoppers and dealers. Gone are the days of visiting one lot after another, gathering information and interacting one-on-one. The new normal has firmly established technology and smart digital strategy as the clear path to success for dealers of all kinds.