Opinion: Emerging Hyperlocal Marketing Trends in Automotive and Retail
Tarun Sobhani talks about trends in hyperlocal marketing in the automotive and retail industry as consumers become more conscious and the buying process becomes a community decision.
Previously, the main area of interest for brands was its physical infrastructure, such as the total number of dealers, the number of outlets and the number of cities covered. So, during the first wave of COVID-19, a traditionally offline industry like the automotive sector was hit the hardest, changing the basic trends of hyperlocal marketing.
According to a study, 95% of car buyers begin the process by using online media as a source of information. Consumers Today, everything is going digital. Consumers rely more on the information that the brand puts on the Internet before going to the store, or even to book a test drive. The majority of transactions take place within a radius of 5 to 10 km from the consumer’s location. Four out of five people living in India who are considering buying a car said they would use an online shopping option if it were available. Additionally, almost a third of all potential buyers would buy a car sooner if they had an online option and could avoid a trip to a dealership. The process of buying a car has changed significantly over time. An experience that used to be in-person only is now frequently started online and completed in person. The moment customers walk into the store with a clear mindset, what they would like to buy, what is in stock, and the best deal surrounding it.
The shift in consumer behavior where the consumer searches for a particular store before visiting the physical location is increasing rapidly. Consumers rely more than ever on the information provided by brands online. Simple information like store hours, NAP consistency, or whether store staff are fully immunized have been what consumers are looking for.
This showed us a trend where the consumer is increasingly aware of change. They are increasingly aware of what they buy, where they buy it from. Which has contributed to all physical dealerships and especially car dealerships focusing on their location-driven hyper-local strategy to identify their customers in the market for a long-term success strategy. Customer information plays an important role when it comes to having the right set of strategies to write an action plan. Without in-depth knowledge of your customers, finding and working towards the right trends can be difficult.
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This brings us to the list of recent trends that can be used to effectively reach your customers.
Have an omnichannel presence
Having a hybrid model increases brand awareness among consumers. According to a BCG study, 48% of people prefer hybrid shopping, making it important for brands to not only focus on their physical stores, but also have a digital presence to focus on untapped opportunities. Another sector where there are huge changes is traditional physical purchases in physical stores. From the BOPIS (Buy Online Pickup In-Store) service to providing directions and items available in-store, there is a drive to work with frictionless omnichannel retail encounters. A frictionless retail setup also implies that customers must have the ability to view their items efficiently using advanced in-store mobile apps.
In addition, stores are seeing a sharp drop in footfall in physical stores. This information can be used to distinguish opportunities to convert brick-and-mortar outlets into hybrid setups where the customer can research the product online on the brand’s website or location-based microsite before actually visiting the store. , which will result in increased brand discoverability. .
Consistent information across the digital ecosystem
Having NAP consistency, consistent and accurate information such as name, address, and phone number, store hours, and the service they provide can increase Google’s trust, which helps to raise Google’s rankings. the brand on the SERPs. 75% of users don’t go past the 1st page of the SERP which forces brands to make their ads and websites visible. Brands that have consistent, accurate, and up-to-date information across all search engines like Google, DuckDuckGo, and Bing are prioritized.
Optimized online reputation management
We’ve seen a trend across industries where when reviews on a listing are over a hundred, requests for discovery calls, directions, and searches tend to increase. Which ultimately has an impact on the click-through rate. This implies that brands need to focus on their review management to achieve higher conversion rates.
According to a study, 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone will visit the business within a day and 28% of those searches for something nearby will result in a purchase. It therefore becomes important for brands with multi-site business models to have an optimized digital presence across the entire ecosystem.
Over the past 2 years, we’ve seen a 30% increase in auto dealer discoverability. While the user was unable to visit the dealership, using geolocated microsites containing specific information about the store and available cars. The shift in consumer behavior post-pandemic suggests that brands that are going down the road of digitalizing the car-buying experience are enjoying resounding success. People’s expectations are changing as they want to interact with brands and shop from the comfort of their own homes more than ever.
The hyperlocal marketing article is written by Tarun SobhaniFounder and CEO, SingleInterface