For the May Cars.com On-the-Lot report, we took another look at the most popular times of the day and week that car shoppers visit dealerships’ lots – something we’d done in January and February. Using our patented Lot Insights technology, we examined data from shoppers who use their mobile phones to visit Cars.com while they’re on the lot. Here’s what we found:
- Shopper visits to dealership lots are up. We tracked 451,281 visits to dealership lots in May, a 1.4 percent increase over the 444,973 visits during February and a 4.4 percent increase over the baseline figure of 432,250 that we set in January. The likely reasons: Memorial Day sales and better weather.
- Midweek visits are stealing from weekend visits. Friday/Saturday/Sunday visits saw a 9 percent drop in total visits, while Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday visits experienced a 17.4 percent uptick. Saturday saw a particularly strong drop at 15 percent. It’s possible that people are shifting their Saturday priorities to summer fun and focusing on midweek for shopping. We’ll keep an eye on this number in coming weeks.
- People are shopping later in the day. The Sunday-Thursday time frame saw shoppers visiting the lot later in the day. On Thursdays, for instance, peak visits occurred between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. versus 2:00-3:00 p.m. (for franchises) and 4:00-5:00 p.m. (for independents). Shoppers might be capitalizing on having more daylight than they did in February.
As I noted when I discussed our January and February On the Lot reports, this data should help dealerships prepare their salespeople to be ready to engage with mobile shoppers, especially during the afternoon hours when their visits peak. Assume that mobile shoppers are comparing your vehicles with your competitors’ inventory and have Cars.com’s mobile app loaded on your device so that you are ready to review the same inventory your customers are probably reviewing.