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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Nenni

The Incredible Evolving Mobile Shopper

Updated: May 1, 2020

Several months ago, our aging desktop PC finally flashed its final “blue screen of death”, and we retired it to a local school. We decided to replace it with a shiny new iMac, and for a few weeks it was hard to get your turn on the new toy. Soon however, my wife, our teens and tweeners went back to their smart phones, and the new iMac is already gathering dust. This same phenomenon is occurring all over the U.S., we are obsessed with our smartphones and nothing else matters. We take our phones to the toilet, check them at red lights, and even keep them in our beds so we can quickly scan even before our feet hit the floor. Yes folks, it is no longer a 2nd screen, it is our 1st and sometimes only screen where we search for information, interactions and interesting places.

An incredibly strong mobile presence is no longer a great idea for dealers, it is a business requirement to maintain relevance in this mobile world. Mobile is not just another digital marketing avenue for your business. It must be approached in an entirely unique way. Mobile is as different to Digital, as Digital was different from Traditional advertising. With overall Internet user growth slowing, mobile is where the opportunity is, with video being a primary driver. Amazingly, advertising spending remains completely out of balance with mobile media activity. A paltry 4% of overall 2013 Ad Spending in the U.S. was focused on mobile, while consumers spend 20% of their time there. Smart marketers should recognize this and quickly change their course.

When you peer across the restaurant, or dentist’s waiting room, what in the world are these people looking at on their phones? YouTube and Facebook account for 1/3 of all mobile traffic in North America. Both offer very targeted paid options for reaching specific consumers, but how much of your advertising spend is directed to these platforms? Advertising dollars should be spent where the eyeballs are, and those eyeballs are watching video, checking their social networks, and searching for locations on their mobile devices.

And remember, mobile does not just mean smartphones. With the variety of tablet sizes available today, this must factor into your decision-making. While it’s true that most people are not running around carrying tablets to soccer games and to the grocery, it is also true that consumers who own both smartphones and tablets don’t spend less time with their smartphones. Tablets complement smartphones, and only increase the time consumers are spending on tech devices.

OK, OK, maybe I’ve convinced you to start paying attention to mobile, but what does that mean for your dealership? How can you translate this into actionable plans to help drive these mobile shoppers to your store? I’m glad you asked. I’ll be presenting on “The Evolving Behavior of the Automotive Mobile Shopper” at the 17th Digital Dealer Conference in Las Vegas, September 23-25. I will give dealers clarity on Responsive vs. Adaptive web design, and which one might be best for them. Dealers will learn specific techniques to take advantage of location searches including mapping, click to call, and location-based advertising. And finally, attendees will learn how to allocate advertising dollars to better focus on mobile automotive shoppers.

I hope you can join me, but if not please email or call me, I would be glad to help you one-on-one. Likely your household also has an increasingly dusty desktop, and plenty of kids with their face in mobile devices. Let’s explore together how we can prepare for this growing trend.

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