Mobile or Desktop? Which Ads Should Dealers Focus On? - AutoSuccessOnline
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Mobile or Desktop? Which Ads Should Dealers Focus On?

With collection ads, retargeting ads and custom landing pages, how’s a dealer supposed to decide between mobile and desktop in a digital marketing strategy that will assist in month-over-month increased sales?


The automotive industry is well-aware of the shift from the general public’s desktop usage to their mobile device when shopping for a new vehicle. According to the digital marketing firm, Smart Insights, the traffic from mobile ads to a retail website makes up 48% of the traffic. Desktop trails behind at 41%, but there is a catch. Even though the traffic from retail sites on mobile is higher, the revenue generated on desktop is greater.

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So, what does this tell us? For the brand awareness and research component of a shoppers’ buying journey, mobile is a key component to a digital marketing strategy, but when it’s time to make a final selection, shoppers are heading to their desktop.

Think about it. What are you doing while you are waiting in the doctor’s office or standing in line for a coffee? You are browsing on your smartphone. You are probably checking out your social. These are the moments when a shopper starts his or her research phase without always being fully aware that they are doing so. These are also the moments when you need to start grabbing their attention. There is so much content noise on social media, so it’s your job or your digital marketing partner’s job, to get them to stop scrolling and take a moment to get to know why they should be making their next car purchase at your dealership.

At our company, the focus on mobile versus desktop and vice versa has been a bit of a debate. There are some in camp mobile who believe that dealers should be putting the majority of their budget into ads like collection ads that historically see heightened engagement on mobile. There are others that sit in camp desktop who believe that negating desktop is a major mistake.

After further assessment of clients’ ads, including the level of engagement, click-through rate and the session duration on the dealer’s website, we were able to conclude that a happy medium between mobile and desktop is what is necessary for every dealer’s social media campaigns.

Mobile ads like collection ads should be used to show the breadth of a dealer’s inventory and to help educate the shopper on the quality customer service and incentive offers that the dealership offers.


Retargeting ads have excellent conversion rates on desktop and are better suited for vehicle-specific ads that lead to VDPs or even better, custom landing pages that support the content and copy of the ad. The likelihood of a shopper already being close to scheduling a test drive when they are engaging with your ads on Facebook is strong, so you want to land this audience on pages that support the final phase of their search and get them in the showroom door.

The proof is in the conversion rates. By having social media ads that are targeting your shopper who has just starting their buying process and the shopper who is getting to ready to pick up the phone for a test drive, you are implementing a well-rounded marketing strategy that will assist your dealership in month-over-month increased sales.


Tabitha Flythe | Dealer Authority Marketing Manager

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