DT University Study Reveals Automotive Shoppers on Desktops Call Dealerships the Most

New study of 1.1 million phone calls contradicts conventional wisdom that automotive marketers should focus ad spend on mobile, especially during peak sales seasons


Chicago, IL – September 7, 2017 – Despite the well-publicized shift in automotive digital advertising spend to mobile, most phone calls to dealerships are still generated by consumers shopping on their desktops and laptops, not their smartphones, according to a new study published today by DT University, the educational and training center of DialogTech. That trend is even more pronounced during the two peak sales seasons for dealerships in North America. The study should cause automotive marketers focusing primarily on mobile to reconsider how they allocate digital ad spend.

The DT University study, which examined data from the DialogTech voice management platform on over 1.1 million phone calls to thousands of North American dealerships, found that:

  • 54.8 percent of call conversions from Tier 1 (manufacturer/OEM) and Tier 3 (local dealership) automotive websites were from shoppers on their desktops and laptops
  • Only 45.2 percent of calls come from visitors on mobile devices

The gap between desktop- and mobile-generated calls is even more pronounced during the automotive industry’s two peak sales seasons from March to May and from September to November:

First Peak Sales Season

  • March: 22.2% more calls from desktop/laptop than mobile
  • April: 27.3% more calls from desktop/laptop than mobile
  • May: 27.3% more calls from desktop/laptop than mobile

Second Peak Sales Season

  • September: 22.2% more calls from desktop/laptop than mobile
  • October: 22.2% more calls from desktop/laptop than mobile
  • November: 56.4% more calls from desktop/laptop than mobile

The study also found that shoppers who call a dealership purchased vehicles on average 10 times more than consumers who fill out a form on a Tier 1 or Tier 3 website, making calls more valuable conversions to generate from digital advertising campaigns.

“The DT University study should be an eye-opener for auto manufacturers and dealerships,” said Alain Stephan, SVP of Analytics Services at DialogTech. “When you ramp up digital ad spending during peak sales seasons, don’t forget to target desktop shoppers – they drive the most calls and revenue.”

You can access the full DT University study at dialogtech.com/blog/call-tracking/phone-calls-auto-dealerships.

About DT University
DT University (DTU) is the official educational, training and thought leadership center of DialogTech. The mission of DT University is to educate marketers on how to generate more customers and revenue from voice and the call channel. For more information, visit dialogtech.com/dtu.

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