What On-The-Lot Customer Data Reveals About Car Shopping at Your Dealership

by Omni | Monday January 30th 2017

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From researching brands to locating inventory at dealerships, mobile is a major factor in the way consumers shop for cars today. Google has investigated search patterns and foot traffic data to uncover popular times customers tend to make a trip to the dealership. At Omni, we use this data to stay informed on customer trends and use effective mobile tactics in key moments— online or on the lot.

The auto purchase journey is increasingly influenced by mobile. Ten years ago, the average car shopper made five visits to dealerships in order to research potential vehicles. Today, that number has dropped to two. Google has uncovered the most popular times for consumers to visit the lot, and now you can take advantage of these key moments to ensure people head to your dealership — and not your competitor’s.

The most popular times of year for consumers to likely visit your dealership are during summer and the holiday season.


While an always-on strategy will help you drive foot traffic year round, during these peak months consider adjusting your mobile budgets so your ads appear when people are searching for auto information in the vicinity of your dealership.

During these busy periods, auto shoppers prefer checking out cars on their lunch break rather than after work hours.


Talk to us about implementing day-parting so that you can reach these consumers in the right moments – like just before lunchtime, when they’re searching for local dealerships to visit. Having a strategic approach to your SEM will make a huge difference in stronger lead conversion and high quality traffic.

When they’re on the lot, consumers rely on their smartphones to provide real-time advice and information. The top action people perform with their phones while on the lot is confirming that they are getting a good price on a vehicle.

Make sure you’re providing the right information, such as inventory updates and local incentives, in a mobile-friendly format. Then, when shoppers are right there and ready to buy, they’ll feel confident they’re getting a great deal and are more likely to buy from your dealership.

1 McKinsey Advanced Industries, “Innovating automotive retail”, Feb 2014, United States.
2 Google/TNS, Auto Shopper Study, 2016, United States. Consumer Barometer n=526.
3 Google Data, Aggregated and anonymized foot traffic to any auto dealerships from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, 2015.
4 Google Data, Aggregated and anonymized foot traffic to any auto dealerships from a sample of U.S. users that have turned on Location History, July and August 2015.
5 Millward Brown Digital and Polk, “Automotive Shopper Path to Purchase,” September 2015, U.S.