Unlocking Consumers Through Micro-Moments

May 8, 2017

John is a young professional looking to buy a car.

Not sure what car he’s going to get, John pulls out his smartphone and searches for local dealerships in his area. He is immediately drawn to the top result, which has a rating of 4.3/5, and visits their website for more information.

While browsing, John sees an affordable promotion for a car he hadn’t thought of purchasing before, with an embedded video from the dealership’s YouTube page directly below. The video features a sales representative giving a full interior/exterior walkthrough of the vehicle. By the time the video ends, John’s mind is made up – that’s the car he’s going to get.

John then scrolls through a few reviews of the dealership on Edmunds as a final confirmation that it’s the best option available in his area. Once he approves, he goes back to the dealership’s website to get the address and heads over to make his purchase. The decision process takes place entirely on John’s smartphone in 17 minutes and 24 seconds.

This is just one example of a car dealership leveraging micro-moments to influence a consumer purchase decision. ‘Micro-moments’ is a term coined by Google to define a mobile moment that requires a simple glance to identify and deliver quick information that people can either consume or act on immediately.

Google’s micro-moments study offers brands strategies, insights and customer examples for mastering the shift to digital and mobile platforms – several of which can and are easily applied to the dealer level.

If you don’t have time to read through the whole study, check out this list to help your dealership take advantage of the following invaluable micro-moment insights.

Invest in Local Search

Search interest for the term “car dealerships near me” more than doubled from 2014 to 2015, and has increased even more in 2016. This micro-moment trend suggests that, while vehicle shopping research is now mainly done online, the final step of the process still concludes at a dealership.

In the scenario above, John didn’t even bother looking past the top result when he searched for dealerships near him. He joins the 75% of people who never scroll past the first page of search results.

It’s important to include your dealership in Google’s local search, and fill in the proper contact information so it’s readily available when people start looking. Hours of operation are one of the most important bits of information to include, as people want to know who is or isn’t open when they’re ready to make a purchase.

Create A YouTube Channel

When creating a marketing plan for your dealership, you might think of utilizing television, print, radio and even online ads. But consumers’ receptiveness towards ads on those platforms have evolved, meaning their effectiveness is no longer what it once was.

Today, people are increasingly turning to YouTube to help shape their opinion of which vehicle to buy. According to a Google study, an astounding 69% of people who used YouTube while shopping for a car were influenced by it.

One of the most popular types of videos consumers watch are car reviews, with more than 300 million hours being viewed on YouTube in the first nine months of 2015. That number has only risen today, as people seek to entertain and educate themselves through sources they trust.

To take advantage of this micro-moment, dealerships should invest in a YouTube channel to give potential customers a more well-informed view of the inventory they offer. Similar to John’s scenario, you can even tie your videos into the latest deals and promotions you’re running to maximize value to the consumer.

Provide Quick Value

With mobile phones displaying information in real-time, dealerships need to make it as easy as possible for their customers to quickly perform simple tasks on their website, such as finding your dealership, valuing their trade-in and searching for inventory and prices.

Mobile-optimized websites are a must to create a positive customer experience. If you aren’t there with the right answer the second a consumer is looking, chances are another dealer will be.

From local search investment, to YouTube channels and video offerings, to ensuring your website is providing maximum value for potential customers – car dealers must own these crucial micro-moments to create an improved customer experience, lest consumers find another dealership that caters to their subconsciously evolved needs.