The mobile phone generation conducts as much business, if not more, from their mobile phones than from their desktop/laptop computers. Think about people's texting habits, especially those of young adults. They use any and every spare moment to stay in touch with family, friends and yes, even products. Many are watching the auto market, waiting for the arrival of that new or used car they plan to buy. And many of these customers are prepared to act on what happens, then and there. Businesses have to move with this new generation of customers, literally.
Mobile Site vs. "Regular" Website
This new generation of tech-savvy adults is constantly online, reading the news, watching for something to go on sale, or checking out the latest and greatest products. They tweet, blog and update their status online. They want the ability to purchase, inquire and share information, as it happens – now, not later. That means while they’re standing in line for coffee, riding a bus to work, walking down a street, or hanging with friends at bar. These customers don’t wait until they’re at a computer... they conduct business when and wherever they are.
The dealer may think, "Hey, that's great! They'll check the cars on my website while they're waiting in line somewhere." To a certain extent, this is true. A car buyer can search for the right key words or even type in a dealership's URL and find the dealership's website then and there on his mobile phone. The problem is if the dealership doesn't have a mobile site. The mobile phone user will still access all the information from the dealership's "regular" website, but it won't be easy to view or navigate that website from his/her mobile phone. In this case, the customer may forgo looking up the information, or move on to another dealership, one that is designed for mobile viewing. If that dealership has a mobile site, however, the customer will see all of the dealership's information - formatted for the mobile screen and designed in a way that encourages exploring the site, calling the dealership (with the simple touch of a speed-dial link), and even purchasing a vehicle.
Take advantage of your customers impulses to call, request a quote, make an appointment or purchase. Don't give them a reason to put off contacting your dealership. Let them do it then and there, wherever they happen to be when they're thinking about purchasing that next car.
Power of Social Media on Mobile Sites
Are you leveraging the power of the social media networking? Just one customer wants to say something to his network of friends/associates about a car he/she found on your site. He clicks the SHARE media button on his/her choice, makes a comment, and touches 'send'. A second later, posted on his/her social media site, connected to potentially hundreds of his/her friends, is a comment about your dealership, or your car, with the links (and a photo!) to your website. And it doesn't matter whether his friends are using mobile phones or computers… they link to your site regardless.
The good news here is that you don't need to have accounts with Facebook, YouTube or Twitter to leverage the power of social media networking (though doing so has other advantages that are best reviewed in another article). You can use share-links to further your branding and business goals from your ‘regular’ and mobile websites.
But again, if you only have a 'regular' website, then that is what the social network of dozens/hundreds of friends will see, including those viewing your site from a mobile phone. You should give the entire group, the dozens/hundreds of potential customers, the chance to view your cars or website in the best format possible, one which encourages them to view, search, contact and buy. You don’t want 80%, 90%, or even more of these potential customers to ignore your dealership because your 'regular' website is too hard to view from a mobile phone.
You know your customers. Are they the mobile phone generation or the computer generation? Most likely they’re both. But what are their research and purchasing habits? By neglecting to have a mobile site, you may well be sending your customers and potential customers to the next dealership on their list, one that has a mobile phone and does business in a way that fits your customers' on-the-go lifestyle. Dealers must change with technology, and reach out to customers through the technology they are using, or dealerships will limit their sales potential with the technology-savvy adults of today - and tomorrow.