The phenomenal growth of mobile browsing has made a significant impact on the way in which consumers buy and sell used vehicles.
Indeed, there is a realistic chance that around half of traffic to classified and dealer websites will be from a mobile device by the end of the year.
Supporting this trend, Motors.co.uk has seen a massive leap in the number of people visiting its website from a mobile phone, growing from 14 per cent in 2012 to 40 per cent in 2013.
Statistics from Google confirm that 35 per cent of all automotive searches now take place on mobile and tablet devices, so there’s no doubt about the importance of having a responsive website to ensure consumers get the best possible experience, regardless of access point.
The launch of HTML5 and CSS3 technology, as well as the growing proliferation of different types and screen sizes of mobile devices, means that it is even more important that dealers are able to get their message across in a way which will resonate with their audience.
This means making sure that the right content is accessible on the appropriate platforms. A responsive website that has been designed to provide optimal viewing – easy reading without the need for resizing across a wide range of devices – will be far more effective than developing a different site for each platform.
However, despite the strong arguments for responsive design, the reality is that dealer groups have found it challenging to navigate their way through the ‘marketing speak’ to determine the best solution for their needs.
There has been a great deal of talk about the whole range of online marketing tools over the past 18 months, with changes to Google’s search algorithms, an explosion in social media platforms and the growth in accessible mobile devices making their way to market.
With that in mind, it is perhaps not surprising that our recent research showed just three of the UK’s top 100 dealer groups actually have responsive websites in place.
However, the tide is beginning to turn. While the big dealer groups have been slower to roll out responsive web design, the smaller dealers have embraced the opportunity to deliver the best possible online experience, regardless of access point or device used.
Indeed, Motors.co.uk is now approaching the launch of its 100th responsive site since introducing the Flex platform 10 months ago.
These dealers, who are nimble enough to act quickly and take on the Flex challenge, have seen demonstrable success in the performance of their new responsive website, with improvements to the amount of time spent on site, the number of page views per visit and a fall in the bounce rate.
In fact, Motors.co.uk has recently launched a premium edition of the web platform, Flex Plus, to offer an enhanced package provision to dealers.
The figures for mobile access are only going one way – up. That means that the dealer groups that have not formulated a responsive online strategy will need to get their thinking caps on fairly quickly.