52 percent visited an additional dealership

It’s a common scene at most dealerships: A sales rep goes to the far side of the showroom to double check figures or to see if a sister store has a specific unit in stock, leaving the customer to their own devices – literally. Maybe it’s a stealthy glance from under the sales desk, maybe it’s out in the open, but the time alone gives the customer an opportunity to pull out his or her smartphone and reevaluate options.

More than an unpleasant anecdote, recent mobile research highlights how smartphones have drastically changed the in-store sales process. In fact, among shoppers who accessed automotive content while at a dealership, 52% visited additional dealerships specifically because of the information they found on their mobile device, meaning that they were on the lot, researched other vehicles and/or dealerships on their smartphone, and then left to shop elsewhere.

Rather than scorn mobile use at the dealership, something that would surely turn away customers, savvy dealerships should embrace mobile as a natural part of the buying process. By being transparent about vehicle pricing and available inventory, there’s an opportunity to not only build trust with consumers, but to showcase the unique value of the dealership.

Learn more tips for winning showrooming shoppers in our latest ebook, Navigating Mobile Marketing.