Car buyers like to be informed about the vehicles or services you offer before they step into your dealership. They like to go into a dealership knowing as much information as possible about the product or service they’re planning to buy. Today, most car buyers are researching on the Internet before buying vehicles or accessories. According to a ‘Capgemini Cars Online 09-10′ survey, almost 90 percent of consumers today use the Internet to research vehicles. Nearly 40 percent would like to buy a car over the Internet, and half would purchase parts and accessories online.
Moreover, mobile web access in the US is growing fast. With an increase in mobile device usage for online transactions, mobile websites are becoming a necessity for many car dealerships to leverage new opportunities on Internet. Some of the main reasons for a car dealer to optimize website to be mobile-friendly are:
Continuous growth of online users
There is no need to further mention the growth of Internet users; we all know that the Internet is quickly becoming the main source of information for many people. With 239 million Internet users, the US is one of the top countries in the world with a huge Internet growth rate (growth of more than 150 percent during 2000 to 2010).
Mobile web access in the US is growing very fast too. According to a Pew Internet survey regarding mobile activity and behavior, forty percent of mobile phone owners (about 75 million US adults) go online with their mobile phones. More than half (55 percent) of them are online via their mobile phones at least once a day.
Smartphone usage continues to grow
There is also significant growth in smartphone usage in the US over the past two years as well. Consistent reduction in prices and increasing capabilities of these devices is making the smartphone market grow rapidly. According to Forrester Research, 17 percent of US adults used smartphones in 2009, up from 11 percent in 2008 and 7 percent in the year 2007.
Mobile phones are quickly becoming one of the most popular consumer devices to connect to the Internet in order to research products and services. An April 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows that there are rising levels of Americans using the Internet on a mobile phone. One-third of Americans (32%) have used a cell phone or Smartphone to access the Internet for emailing, instant-messaging, or information-seeking.
The report also finds that on a typical day, nearly one-fifth (19%) of Americans use the Internet on a mobile device, up substantially from the 11% level recorded in December 2007. That’s a growth of 73% in the 16 month interval between surveys.
Creating a mobile-friendly website is very inexpensive and can probably be setup within your current annual budget. Designing a mobile version of a website is different from the way we design a website for regular Internet browsing; one major difference being the screen size and resolutions to work with. Although traditional web design techniques don’t work, creating a mobile-friendly version of your existing website does not cost anything more. Developing a mobile website is neither expensive nor time-consuming.
Mobile websites provide instant connectivity to customers as these sites are designed to be utilized through hand held mobile phones. Customers can utilize mobile websites anywhere and at anytime to view inventory, locate dealership, or to contact your sales or service team.
Many local people looking to buy or service their car will come to know your dealership with mobile-friendly websites. According to Q1 2010 Smartphone Intelligence survey by Compete, one in three smartphone owners called or visited a business after a search in their local area.
A fully customized website for mobile devices converts shoppers into sales and increases ROI through clear, easy-to-browse inventory, and point-to-point directions, simple inventory listings to scroll through, and easy click into a vehicle’s photos and details. It focuses more on a mobile consumer’s goals such as browse live inventory, locate a dealership or contact dealer sales & service.
Lose out on some market segments
Mobile-friendly websites provide a luring opportunity to the automotive dealers to generate more leads by targeting the specific audience – probably the higher end market. Mobile phones are the most intimate medium to reach out to your target customers. Therefore, it is very important to plan an effective mobile marketing strategy using mobile-friendly websites. They extend your dealership to mobile devices used by highly active car shoppers in a shortest possible time. Showcasing your vehicles and services on mobile devices is an excellent way to connect with the most prospective buyers.
With around 75 million people on the mobile Internet in the US, car dealers cannot afford to ignore this medium. It makes good business sense to ensure that your dealership is presented in buyers’ mobile devices when they are actively looking for what you have to offer.