Mobile in the Showroom: Why it Fits

It’s been debated at conferences, in showrooms, talked about over dinners, written about, studied and queried. Still, the question – and the debate – rages.

Mobile. Does it fit in the dealership showroom?

The short answer is yes. Of course. And if you’ve not integrated mobile devices throughout your sales showroom experience, consider the overwhelming amount of data that points you in that direction, such as a recent 2016 survey from Ipsos – commissioned by Facebook IQ – that examined the behaviors and attitudes of mobile-first auto consumers. The study found that “71 percent of all respondents use mobile during the purchase process, and 58% say their smartphone is likely to be the only device they use for all their vehicle research in the future.” Additional findings include:

  • 61% of mobile-first auto consumers say that video is playing a more important role in their shopping experience.
  • 76% of mobile-first auto consumers know the exact vehicle they want before going to a dealer.
  • 71% of mobile-first auto consumers prefer to do all their vehicle research online, and go to the dealer for the final transaction.

Indeed, mobile is the way of the world, to the point where a Google analysis of search data between 2014 and 2015 showed that auto category searches on mobile grew an amazing 51%.

But wait a minute. Just because it’s the way of the world, does that mean it’s the way of your dealership? Does it matter? You bet it does, for at least one compelling reason: it’s how consumers want to experience the journey of buying a car. It’s convenient, familiar and welcome technology. They want video on the tablet; they want to continue to shop in a way they recognize as credible and transparent.

By connecting “online to in-store” via mobile device in the showroom, you’re creating a familiar, modern, shopper-friendly environment that picks up where the buyer left off online –and that itself feels credible and transparent. The technology and interactivity of a tablet, for example, offers a much deeper level of information and a more interactive experience. That helps you to gain insight into consumer preferences and the information they have prepared online, prior to their arrival at the store. You’re then able to provide a more personalized in-store experience using mobile technology. That’s how mobile technology fits – today and as automotive retailing continues to evolve.