AM Online

Dealers offered differing opinions on mobile website design

Dealers are being offered differing opinions and advice on whether to develop their separate mobile websites for tablets and smartphones or to use responsive web design (RWD) which adapts to each mobile device.

Nick Gee, Mobile Director at Auto Trader said: “A responsive website doesn’t work as well for mobile consumers because it will most often ignore the context of where and why the consumer is using a mobile.

“No dealer can afford to alienate consumers by providing a slow or inadequate mobile experience. If consumers don’t like what they see they will quickly visit another website.”

Whereas rival is advising dealers to keep their web design simple with RWD.

Andy Coulthurst, managing director at, said: "There is a very realistic chance that, by the end of 2013, half of all traffic to dealer and classified websites will come from mobile devices. In addition, there has been a great deal of talk in the past 18 months about the range of online marketing solutions, from responsive design to mobile-optimised sites, apps and social media.

"The reality is that, despite the obvious need to evolve, it can be challenging for a dealer to navigate through the 'marketing speak' and determine the best solution for their needs. With millions of potential buyers using thousands of different devices running on dozens of operating systems, it is important that a dealer is able to get their message across in the right way.

"Generally, one responsive website designed properly will be more effective that trying to develop a different offering for every available device. However, ultimately, the goal should be to ensure that the consumer has the best possible online experience and is able to find all the required information, regardless of their access point."

Emma Harvey, product and Strategy Director at Razsor, said: “Responsive website design is being recommended to dealers by many suppliers as a buzzword to simplify a complex area.

“It works fantastically for certain businesses but it’s not necessarily the right solution for dealers and the car-buying consumer.

“If dealers do go for a responsive solution they need to make sure designs for mobile are extremely well thought-out.”

Data from shows that 65% of dealers have already invested in separate mobile sites, 13% in iPhone apps and 2% have built an app for Android phones – which it believes is all “potentially wasted investment given the emergence of responsive websites”.

Mobile vs RWD

There does not seem to be a consistent view from within the industry as to which approach is better. Please leave your opinions in the comments section below as to which approach is better for automotive retail and why.

Click here for digital marketing best practice and procurement insight

If you are not a registered user your comment will go to AM for approval before publishing. To avoid this requirement please register or login.

Comment as guest

Login  /  Register


  • Cookie - 01/08/2013 03:34

    Great article. The hardest competition for mobile sites is responsive victims. No other mobile site companies. Convincing business owners about how great mobile sites are is easy. You only have to read the facts to know what people are looking for, what they expect and what actions they are performing on mobile devices to find all kinds of 'local' 'relevant' products and services on their mobile devices. Responsive sites are great if you have a lot of content as it's easily displayed in a vertical format. However there is generally no call to actions which is what the user is looking for. 1 in 3 mobile searches is local and 3 of 4 mobile searches trigger follow‐up actions, whether it be further research, a store visit, a phone call, a purchase or word‐of‐mouth sharing. On average, each mobile search triggers nearly 2 follow‐up actions (Source:Google/Nielson 2013). Also if the site does not load in under 6 seconds and there is no call to actions when if does load you are loosing business. go Mobile or go Broke with - Mobile sites are proven to boost sales and drive foot traffic instantly. Wanna know more, send me an email

    Reply as guest

    Login  /  Register