Sunday, 14 October 2012

Is your Website Mobile Optimized yet?

Nowadays a staggering  9 out of 10 New Zealanders have access to the internet, with the  time we spend online doubling since 2005. And 59% of New Zealanders using the internet are over 35 – its a myth that it is just gen Y surfing the net!
 More and more people are searching the internet and shopping online, particularly on their smartphones.  In 2013, 50% of online traffic will come from mobile devices – smartphones like the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows mobile, Palm Pre). The use of these devices is sky-rocketing with 60% of Kiwis are expected to have a smartphone by the end of this year. Soon enough, all mobile phones will be smartphones.  More people than ever will use their smartphones rather than computers for surfing the internet and shopping. The ‘second screen’ is commonplace in many Kiwi households – people are looking at their smartphones and iPads whilst watching telly, or eating tea.

It is essential to keep up with the technology that your customers are using. Look at a normal website on a smartphone  – the majority look woeful. Most of them look teeny tiny and really hard to navigate - you need to pinch the screen to enlarge everything, and the pages take ages to load! A recently survey showed that 40% of users have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad experience trying to search an un-optimized website on a smartphone.

If you have website, optimizing it for mobile use is imperative.  People who are shopping on their mobiles have different needs and expectations than those who are shopping online on their lap top or PC.  They need easier to read pages, and for pages to appear quickly. They are searching for specific items, the information accessed on their on mobile needs to be easily searched and accessed. They are looking for specific makes and models, information on the makes and models that dealership has for sale, as well as dealer contact details. If your dealership does not have a mobile website, you are missing out on potential leads and sales.
As well as when people are at work or out of their office or homes, dealer mobile website use increases at weekends, when people are out and about doing the rounds of yards on a weekend. These shoppers are far along the car buying process, they will have a make, model, year and budget in mind.  The easier it is to access information about your stock on a smartphone, the more likely you will get leads and walk-ins. People’s attention spans these days are short! If someone is searching for a specific vehicle on a website that isn't mobilized  it is harder to see and access and the consumer is likely to just give up and move on to another dealer’s website that is mobile and easily accessible.

Functionality that your Mobile Website needs

1.       Good search options
The more search criteria on mobile websites, the better, i.e. Body style, make & model, price, mileage, transmission cc-rating etc.

2.       Vehicle Features and Description
Easy access to your vehicle’s features and your description and information about the vehicle is vital.
3.       How to find you
Address details, contact details and a map are key for mobile websites, so your buyers can easily find you!
4.       Easy dealer contact
The ability to find your phone number or contact you by email is important. Another valuable feature is automatic dialing  when a person can click on the salesperson’s number and have the phone ring it automatically making your dealership easily accessible.
We began to build mobile websites for our clients last year, and we have found a huge increase in leads and enquiries coming directly from dealer’s mobile websites
Mobilising your website will make it easier for customers to search your stock, find your yard and make contact.  
If you have a dealer website – you should have that website made ‘mobile’. People also generally prefer mobile websites to Apps, as mobile websites are easier to find – if someone clicks on your website URL on a mobile phone and you are mobile optimized, the mobile site will load automatically. 

The good news is that it is not too difficult to optimize your website for mobile.  Many local businesses provide mobile website builds, so ensure you don’t get left behind.


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