Google just can’t stop giving us all advice on how to sell more products online these days. Perhaps the tech giant is getting sentimental in its old age or maybe it’s all part of the strategy behind getting us excited about its latest ventures. We’ll let you decide.

Either way, this time Google wants to help auto brands sell more cars and it’s singled out five key micro-moments car firms need to win. To be honest, though, these points apply to a much wider range of retailers than auto brands – but we’ll come to that later.


5 key micro-moments to auto brands

First, let’s run through the five key micro-moments Google has to offer. You can find all of these over at Think with Google where most of its micro-moment content is published.


#1: Which car is best moments

This one is pretty self-explanatory: when people are in the market for a new car, they want to know which models are currently the best on the market. Of course, Lamborghinis aren’t much help to people looking for a family saloon so you can instantly narrow down on these early searches. Eg: “best family saloons 2016” or “safest cars for families 2016”.

Google also wants us to know that video plays a key role in this early search process. It says 69% of people who use YouTube while buying a car are influenced by it more than TV, newspapers and magazines.


#2: Is it right for me moments

Next up you have the more practical stage of the research process – not the best cars on the market, but the best car for that specific user. This is where features and price become more important and product reviews become highly influential. People want to know the pros and cons about the models that interest them so they can narrow down to the best options.


#3: Can I afford it moments

Once users have a good idea of how suitable certain models are for their needs, it all really comes down to one question: can they afford the best car for them? If they can’t, this is where alternative options are needed – eg: payment plans to suit their budget or other models in their price range. Either way, you want it to be you they buy from, not someone else.


#4: Where should I buy it moment

This is the moment that brings your dealership into the mix. Choosing a product and deciding where to buy it from are two very different things and you don’t want your competitors closing the deal. Google says 1 in 3 car shoppers who turn to mobile devices in the buying process use them to locate or contact their chosen dealer.

The most important thing at this stage is the search intent has shifted. Buyers have a good idea of what they want; it’s where they buy it from that’s up for question.


#5: Am I getting a deal moment

According to Google, half of all car shoppers with mobile devices use their mobile while at the dealership. Why? Because they want to make sure they’re getting a good deal on the cars they see. This is the car buyer in price comparison mode while they’re at the dealership, bringing a whole new way for buyers to price match and haggle in the forecourt.



How specific is this to car buying?

Not very. While the stats Google offers up come from (US) car purchase data over the last couple of years, the same moments apply to many consumer product. Anyone looking to buy a new laptop, wanting to upgrade their phone, buy a new guitar or similar products will go through the same process.

These are branded products where new models and features hit the market every year. Buyers want to know they’re getting the best model/version they can get for their money but making the right choice is difficult when the new ‘upgrades’ are constantly being released.

The same goes when retailers are thrown into the mix. People want to get the best deal and that means buying from the right place. Or perhaps knowing which time of year is the best time to buy. All of these questions throughout the search process give you a range of opportunities (or micro-moments) to connect with buyers by providing the crucial piece of content they need.

So, even if you’re not in the auto business, these five key micro-moments apply to most kind of mass-produced consumer products.


The trick with these micro-moments is choice saturation. With so many options on the market it’s difficult for the average buyer to choose the right product with confidence. The fear of buying the wrong product, paying too much for the right product or missing out on a better product is incredibly powerful.

These moments of doubt are where people turn to mobile first – and you can intercept with content that reassures their buying fears.