Estimates point to a slowdown of the auto industry by 2019. Combine this with developments in big tech and the race to create the first driverless car, and auto brands are faced with even more uncertainty of what the future holds.

Non-luxury brands make clear investments in digital to stay top of mind as consumers evolve. Winning brands optimize their discovery and sales process for mobile by cutting extraneous features that clutter a page, while at the same time layering on mobile-specific features like pinch-to-zoom. Here’s a look at the areas of digital where auto brands should concentrate their investments:

Mobile: In 2017, 61% of traffic to auto brand sites came from mobile devices. The average visit was more than two minutes shorter and spanned four fewer pages than its desktop counterpart, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto—reinforcing the need for brands to streamline and simplify their mobile touchpoints.

Vehicle pages: Automakers are ramping up their online vehicle information pages: 95% of brands in L2’s study offer product videos on their sites, while 49% provide interior photos and 47% give 360-degree views. However, the number of brands offering brand comparison tools dropped 16% between 2017 and 2018, indicating that manufacturers may be wary of highlighting vulnerability.


Instagram: Brands in L2’s study generated more than twice as many Instagram interactions in Q4 2017 as in Q1 2016, indicating that auto brand engagement on Instagram is accelerating. Meanwhile, engagement on Facebook has stalled. In 2017, Instagram interactions with auto brands nearly quadrupled interactions on Facebook.

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