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3 Reasons Car Shoppers are Leaving Your Lot

transportation and vehicle concept - tired businessman or taxi car driver

Nearly 1 out of every 3 shoppers is leaving your lot, and they’re leaving because of something they saw on their phone. You’ve seen it happen. One moment a sale is rolling along smoothly, then the customer’s phone comes out, and suddenly the sale cools. They’ve seen something they liked, and it isn’t on your lot.

Mobile devices are excellent tools for car shoppers, but they present some problems (and some opportunities) for dealers. We took a Placed Inc. study commissioned by and broke it down to reveal the three major threats mobile use brings to your dealership.


Threat 1: Your Competitor’s Mobile Website is Better

Jeff just found the perfect car on your lot. It’s a grey Camry with leather seats and navigation, just what he wanted. But buying a car is a big purchase, and just to be safe, he’s going to check to make sure he can’t get the same car elsewhere for a better price. So he pulls out his phone, does a quick search, and browses inventory and pricing from another dealership. This phenomenon is called “showrooming,” and it is an issue your dealership is facing right now.

63% of shoppers researched and shopped for a car online while at a dealership. They are using their phone as a comparison tool, matching you up against other dealers, and deciding who to give their business to. 51% looked up price, payments, and offers, while 22% checked inventory at other dealerships. These shoppers have the ability to go online and immediately browse the competition.

Maybe your competitor has better prices, maybe they have better incentives and finance deals. Maybe not; but you can be certain that if they do have those advantages, they are highlighting that information on their mobile website. Are you?

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Threat 2: You Haven’t Optimized for Mobile

Customers aren’t just using your competitor’s website while on your lot; they’re also spending a significant amount of time looking through your website while on your lot. 26% of mobile activity is looking up price and finance options offered by your dealership. But most dealers aren’t presenting that information well.

More than 70% of mobile-first customers feel overwhelmed by the information they find online. The only thing worse than not offering information in a mobile environment is offering information in a way that confuses and unnerves your customer. 65% of mobile-first customers worry they are going to make a wrong choice. You don’t want to be the dealer that made them feel that way.

What this all means is that if your mobile website doesn’t scale perfectly to any device size, and it isn’t exceeding the standards your competitors have set (and thus your customers are exposed to), you are falling behind and your customers are turning into someone else for the sale.


Threat 3: Your Competitors Are Advertising on Your Lot

Maybe you are utterly confident in your mobile website. You’ve optimized it for all device types. You’ve created a website that looks and performs better than your competitors by miles. Even if mobile users aren’t using their phones to peruse your competition, they’re still using their phones, and while they use their phone, they’ll be exposed to ads.

You are still losing customers due to your rivals advertising to shoppers on your lot. Mobile users are 72% more likely to visit additional dealers, and mobile use on lots is only growing. 33% of mobile users who left did so because they were lured away by an online ad for another dealership. Even if you have an exceptional mobile website, you are still vulnerable to losing a sale because a shopper was served your competitor’s ad while on your lot.



All of this can be summed up into a single phrase: mobile matters. Focus your efforts on ensuring that your dealership’s mobile experience is up to par. Do this well, and you will reap the benefits in terms of higher conquest and higher sales. Fail to do this, and risk losing out to a competitor.