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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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The Four Most Important Aspects of Dealership Mobile Websites

There has been a lot more talk over the last several months about mobile. It has transitioned from a "check box" item where dealers ask their vendors the simple yes or no question, "Do you have mobile sites in your package?" Today, the questions are more along the lines of, "What makes your mobile websites better than my competitors'?"

That, at least, should be the question.

The world is going mobile. There is zero doubt that mobile is growing exponentially and the activities that many people perform on a daily basis are transitioning to mobile. When people watch television, they often have a mobile device at the ready. They talk about their favorite shows while they watch them. They curse at the cornerback who just intercepted their team's pass by posting their anger on Twitter or Facebook. They check out websites of things they see on television.

When your television commercial reaches someone who is in the market today to buy a car, do you think they're getting up and going to the computer? Some do. Some just grab their iPhone and check out your inventory from there. What will they find?

Last month our founder and VP of Internet Marketing Richard Valenta did a webinar called "5 Mobile Must Haves." The fifth component is about decisions rather than actual mobile websites, but here's a quick breakdown of the takeaways from the webinar:

 

1. Speed is Absolutely the Most Important Thing. Period

Nobody like to wait. Some of us have grown a little more patience in the last couple of years as we know that internet connections are slower through mobile devices, but we still want a site to respond quickly.

Mobile sites MUST load quickly. Inventory must load quickly. The site must flow properly and not skip a beat. This is the number one reason why we're still skeptical about adaptive website design. We know it's the future. It just doesn't work today for dealers on mobile devices because of the speed factor. The technology simply isn't ready for this industry.

Speed can help. Lack of speed can kill.

 

2. Easy Navigation

This should be a no-brainer. It's intuitively understood that the ability to quickly navigate through a mobile site is important in keeping people on your mobile site. The challenge is that even though everyone seems to know it, so many mobile solutions out there simply don't pay attention to this fact.

Get them from your mobile homepage to wherever they want to go (especially inventory) in a couple of seconds or less.

 

3. Strong Mobile Inventory

The screen is smaller. It's surprising that many mobile sites have such small images on them. That's just one point.

The bigger point is the idea that no matter where they are on your mobile site, whether on the homepage, the inventory listings page, or the inventory details page, they should be able to click to call. Again, it's a no-brainer, but so few have it.

 

4. GPS Integration

I'm not going to cover it again, as I wrote an entire article about it here. Bottom line - get GPS integration into your directions. If someone is on your competitor's lot, don't make them ask for the address if they want to come see you. Let them get to you straight from their mobile device wherever they are.

Here's the webinar itself:

Constance Shook
JD, I believe we're like-minded on this subject. Is truly is flabbergasting how few dealerships truly exercise mobile marketing. With 79% of consumers using their smartphones to shop (and undoubtably that statistic increases each day), going mobile is, as you put it, a no-brainer. In addition to the fabulous tips you've provided about mobile marketing, I thought I'd also shed light on the elements of mobile apps that consumers across the board have deemed most helpful: http://info.localsearchgroup.com/automotive-mobile-app-checklist-. Enjoy!

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