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Mobile may be capturing the majority of digital media time and online ad spending, but when it comes to automotive sales, desktops should certainly not be forgotten, according to a study from DialogTech. In fact, mobile devices are responsible for only a minority (45.2%) of call conversions from manufacturer and local dealership websites. In other words, people shopping for vehicles on desktops generate the majority (54.8%) of calls, according to the analysis of more than 1.1 million phone calls.

Data provided by comScore confirms that desktops still hold prominence in the auto industry: while mobile accounted for two-thirds (68%) of total digital media minutes in July, the opposite is true in the automotive industry, with desktops dominating that category’s time (68% share). In fact, 83% of time spent with the Auto Manufacturers subcategory is spent on desktops rather than mobile devices.

The DialogTech research indicates that the discrepancy between desktop and mobile conversions for the automotive industry is even greater during the industry’s two main peak seasons: March to May, and September to November. In March, 22.2% more calls to dealerships originate from desktop/laptop users than mobile, and 27.3% more in April and May. During the second peak period, 22.2% more calls come from desktop/laptop shoppers than mobile in September and October, and an astonishing 56.4% more in November.

An even more predictable pattern emerges during the days of the week. Weekend shoppers who browse on mobile make nearly 20% more calls to dealerships, with the greatest number of conversions taking place on Sundays, while on weekdays desktop shoppers consistently account for in excess of 10% more calls than mobile shoppers. 

Drilling down even further, calls made to dealerships are more likely to come from mobile shoppers before 8 A.M. and after 4 P.M., while consumers on desktops are more likely to call dealerships during typical working hours.

About the Data: The report is based on an analysis of DialogTech voice management platform data from more than 1.1 million phone calls generated by visitors to automotive websites (both Tier 1 and Tier 3) to thousands of North American dealerships.

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