Millennials' preferences and online habits have affected multiple industries in recent years, but even these disruptive web users will need to buy a car at some point. And you'd better believe that when they do, they're going to do their homework first.
J.D. Power's U.S. New Autoshopper Study showed that customers who use services like Uber, Airbnb and Netflix — considered "disruptive web users" for their preference of web-based platforms over traditional services — tend to spend significantly more time researching cars when shopping. This audience is bigger than you may think, accounting for about 33 percent of Generation Y and 18 percent of Generation X, as well as 6 percent of Boomers and those older than them. Before making a purchase, these individuals visit as many as 12 websites, whereas traditional shoppers typically visit nine.
Car buyers are becoming savvier in how they shop, looking for reviews, comparisons and social proof before even coming in to talk to a sales rep. For auto dealerships, this makes digital and content marketing a must, and it might even change the way your sales team communicates with customers.
Targeting Disruptive Web Users Looking for a New Car
According to the J.D. Power study, a total of 69 percent of these customers use their smartphone to conduct research, which means that your site needs to be mobile responsive. In addition to creating a seamless user experience, Search Engine Journal noted that a responsive site will boost your organic rankings because Google penalizes sites that don't automatically convert to a vertical (i.e. mobile) format.
In addition, you can use AdWords targeting to reach more mobile users during their quest for more automotive info. Adweek reported that mobile ad targeting can be a highly effective way to attract leads when they're in the research stage of the customer journey. Reaching shoppers at this point could make it more likely that they'll end up buying with you.
Content Marketing and Social Media for Auto Dealers
A mobile-friendly site is just the beginning. Once there, disruptive web users will want more than just a list of your inventory — they'll also want to see reviews and comparisons.
The 2016 Car Buyer Journey study compiled by Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book showed that when shopping for an automobile, 78 percent of respondents visited third-party sites for information, while 57 percent read dealerships' content and just 36 percent looked at manufacturers' websites.
If you don't have a creative team, you can easily outsource your content writing, social media strategy and even video production. Having resources on your website (and social pages) isn't just great for your web traffic, it could boost foot traffic into your shop, as well.