Mobile will dominate digital interactions
71% of all digital interactions occurred on a mobile in 2017 and this is only likely to grow in 2018. In the US this means not only mobile responsive sites, but also mobile apps.
· 66% of people use mobile apps
· 41% are likely to download a dealer or manufacturer app as part of their pre-purchase research
· 36% find manufacturer apps useful in making a decision
Most car shoppers are searching for information on their local dealerships including;
· 54% search for business hours
· 53% search for directions to their local store
· 45% search for availability of product at a local store
Video marketing brings the highest ROI and 4x as many customers would rather watch a product video than read about it (Rebixit, 2017). Social video sharing is predicted to be very impactful with 69% of people watching Youtube when buying a car reporting they were influenced by it (J&L Marketing, 2017). It’s reported 1 in 3 online visitors watch car videos at least once a month (Izmocars, 2017).
In the US they refer the them as “VIN specific campaigns” but you might not recognise them by that name. These adverts are vehicle inventory specific adverts that display on Facebook and other websites after someone visits your website and views the content. The adverts are highly relevant which generally translate to better results. After three months, dealerships experience an average 41% increase in clickthrough rate (J&L Marketing, 2017).
In 2015 over 20% of online searches were conducted by voice search (Search Engine Land, 2017). By 2020 it is predicted this will increase to 50% due to services like Siri, Google Voice, Microsoft Cortana and Amazon Echo Alexis (Entrepreneur, 2017). In 2017 marketers will start to focus more on voice searchable content – meaning more full sentence answers and conversational copy.
Increasingly car manufacturers are taking advantage of technology to introduce digital aspects to point of sale such as Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR). Overseas retail space can be scarce or costly so it is not unusual to see dealerships with only a handful of cars on display and supported by digital selling tools like vehicle configurators and 360-degree explorers – the new Audi Virtual showroom in London (Entrepreneur, 2017). In NZ we’ve seen large format digital screens in airports and shopping malls for a few years now and this is only expected to grow as technology becomes even more entwined in our lives.
Facebook Marketplace launched in October 2016 and overseas there has been a large up swell in the dedicated vehicles category. In late 2017 Facebook announced further improvements in the US with used car values pulled from Kelley Blue Book, and inventory listings from Edmunds, Cars.com, Auction123, CDK Global and SocialDealer and expanding search options to include transmission and vehicle types (The Verge, 2017). When customers show interest in a dealer-listed car on Marketplace they are prompted to contact the car dealer directly via the Facebook Messenger App – giving car dealers a new tool to speak with potential customers on a one-on-one basis (Stuff, 2017).