It’s not a strategy, it’s the strategy.
It seems like it was only recently that “leading edge” brands in technology and other sectors frequently used the phrase “mobile first” to actively call out their focus on providing a quality experience to mobile users of their websites or digital apps.
Already it sounds quaint, because today, it’s not “mobile first”—it’s “mobile, period.”
The idea of marketers ensuring that their mobile browsing experience lived up to that of the one delivered by a desktop computer is literally from another time, because if you’re not fully focused on mobile, you’re not really in the game.
More than three-quarters of Canadians now have a smartphone, according to statistics reported by the CanadianWirelessTelecommunications Association, with some data suggesting it’s probably north of 80 percent. Additionally, people are increasingly using those phones to access rich mobile content (primarily video), such that mobile data traffic is projected to grow by an annual rate of 36 percent here in Canada.
The staggering amount of video and photographic data being streamed to mobile devices is only going to continue to grow by leaps and bounds, year after year. The laptop or desktop will continue to come into play, but only when users happen to find themselves in front of a computer, otherwise it’s all about the phone. Plus, the expectation is that your content will dance around that smartphone screen in the richest, sharpest, most compelling way.
Make it or break it
The mobile experience is now the make-it-or-break-it point of contact for potential customers. If they hit your site or your app and find it laggy, cumbersome, hard to navigate or just plain underwhelming, they will bail with the flick of a finger.
In the same breath, if you can ‘wow’ a customer on a mobile device —paired with some well displayed contact information—you can close the gap to making a deal by making it easy for users to make direct contact through the same piece of technology they’re searching on.
In other words, ensure your phone number is readily available on your mobile site or app, so that users need only to click the number to ring you up. This is a trend that we are seeing across industries as the two go hand-in-hand; as mobile traffic goes up, phone calls have increased.
To further this point, and while stats vary, between 60 and 70 percent of auto shoppers will use their cellphones while at a dealership to check and compare prices to ensure they are “getting a deal.” A recent study by Placed Inc. found that 63 percent of auto shoppers did just this to ensure they were receiving real time information and enabling them to make as informed a decision as possible on the spot. With a strong mobile platform, you could be the reason a shopper stays or leaves based on their findings in the matter of minutes on the lot.
Dealers are falling behind
Sadly, for the auto sector, we’re still not seeing the vast majority of dealers with the kind of mobile game that they need to have in order to thrive in today’s marketplace. Rich visuals are consistently ranked among the highest decision drivers for mobile shoppers, yet I recently saw an estimate that nearly half of all U.S. auto dealers are missing photos from their mobile sites—and the Canadian reality is probably pretty similar.
Canadians are surf-shopping for vehicles on their phones just as they are doing with all types of products and services. You’ve got about two minutes of focused time from them when they hit your site, and if it takes more than five seconds to load, you’ll lose three-quarters of them right off the bat.
And unlike other products, the majority of online shoppers today still want to close the final sale at a dealership. They’re going to come in to sign, so you’d better be giving them a mobile experience that gets them not only excited and prepared to close a deal, but also fully aware of what to expect throughout this process, in addition to Dealer Reviews, exactly where your showroom is located and how they can get there quickly and easily.
If you’re not already well invested in the development and ongoing maintenance of your mobile site(s), you’re ignoring one of the single most important business drivers at your disposal. Mobile is not A strategy for bringing in business, it’s THE strategy.
Rich visuals and/or seamless video, on an easy to navigate site that loads faster than a speeding data stream. Tick all those boxes and you’re well positioned for the continuing drive to mobile engagement in the auto space.