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How the Auto Industry Can Take Advantage of Micro-Moments

If you have read some our previous articles then you will know we talk a lot about micro-moments, and that’s for a good reason. Micro-moments are becoming more prevalent in today’s society and they are shaping our whole decision-making process. Since the birth and relentless rise of smartphones, we’re swiping and tapping our way to making a quick decision by searching for information almost instantaneously. This is particularly significant for the automotive industry.

Think back to when you bought your first car…

  • How many times did you feel you needed to know something on the spot?
  • How many times did you need guidance from someone other than the pushy car salesman who wants your money?
  • How many times did you wish you could find out what other people thought of the car?

We now have a wealth of information available at our fingertips, so why shouldn’t we harness its power to make an informed decision in the long and confusing minefield of car-buying?

Micro-Moments in Action

According to Think With Google, 6 out of 10 car shoppers enter the market not knowing what type of car they want to buy. Additionally, 60% of consumers are turning to nontraditional sources such as Google, influencers and review sites to gain the relevant information they need. Car brands should be scrambling to get themselves into these micro-moments. If they don’t, there’s a good chance that they won’t be considered in many consumers’ thoughts and buying process.

Let’s take a closer look at some original research by Google, which goes into more depth about how people behave in the micro-moments and what thought process dictates their path to making a purchase.

Identifying Micro-Moments In The Auto Industry | mporium

In this micro-moment, the case study ‘Stacy’ has started her micro-moment journey with a Google search of ‘manufacturer to dealer cash’. She has then gone on to make 5 further digital touchpoints which include several visits to various review sites and different car dealers. It is in this micro-moment journey where the opportunity lies for car brands to capture Stacy’s attention. At each digital touchpoint is an invaluable chance to establish the brand and be considered in the buying journey.  

As the publication goes on to say, Stacy explored 14 different car brands in line with separate micro-moments and digital touch points. She eventually considered six and then finally, after “900-plus digital interactions,” landed on a potential two brands.

Stats that should be considered priceless to car brands are listed below:


  • 71% of searches occurred on mobile


  • 139 Google searches
  • 14 YouTube videos
  • 89 Images

Identifying Micro-Moments In The Auto Industry | mporium

By using such insight, car brands can find greater success and enable themselves to tap into micro-moments.

How can brands take advantage

With 71% of searches happening on mobile, the first port of call for any car brand wanting to be in the user’s micro-moments is mobile optimisation. This means that you can present users with an easy-to-use website wherever they are. Secondly it’s to be relevant to consumers’ needs and questions: with Stacy eliminating eight brands, it is likely most of these brands did not provide any useful interactions or information on her journey. This is why car brands need to anticipate their potential customers’ buying path.

They are called micro-moments for good reason: consumers want their information to be delivered as quickly as possible. This is where user experience (UX) comes into play. Car brands must ensure their customers’ digital interactions are as smooth, fast and frictionless as possible. It may seem like a basic hurdle, but this is where a lot of car brands fail and they are eliminated from the buying process as they do not fit what the user wants in their short micro-moment.

Google’s ‘Stacy’ example is just one snapshot of one woman’s buying journey. However, when you think of how many people a day are reaching for their smartphones and making these digital interactions, it’s clear that the opportunity for car brands is unlimited. Below are some key points all car brands should be considering:

  • Is the information you are publishing useful?
  • Are you anticipating what your target market’s micro-moments are?
  • Is your brand visible? If not…why not?
  • Are you offering a smooth user journey?
  • What are other people saying? Third party opinion can be pivotal…

If car brands are following these key components, then they are on their way to successful micro-moment marketing, which in this day and age is becoming more prevalent in one of the most lucrative and competitive industries in the world.

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