Suzuki believes it will be the first mainstream automotive brand in the UK to have a fully adaptive online presence.
The manufacturer has invested in Responsive Web Design (RWD) technology for its main site, which means the browser automatically optimises content no matter what device is being used to view it. The system is particularly beneficial for customers using portable hardware with smaller screens, such as mini-tablets and smartphones.
Dale Wyatt, Suzuki GB’s sales and marketing director, said the move was part of its ongoing quest to become “digital champions” in the sector – a challenge he first put to the 139-strong network around 18 months ago.
“We’re investing a lot of money to make sure we’ve got a responsive website, which we don’t believe anyone in automotive yet has,” commented Wyatt. The new functionality will go live in September, though a Suzuki spokesman said some elements promoting the new SX4 S-Cross compact SUV are already trialling the technology.
Wyatt explained that part of the challenge for dealers was trying to personalise the online process. “One of the problems of digital is that it creates a lot of activity and it’s really difficult to respond to every click in a bespoke way. Bigger brands respond through automation and I see an opportunity to take that and personalise it to make the customer feel looked after.”
Wyatt said that could involve a standard automated response to customer emails, with an agreement that a unique follow-up reply should be sent within an hour. That commitment could be included in the dealer’s service level agreement.
Wyatt believes customers should choose when they exit the digital world and enter the physical one, rather than the decision being driven by the process. It’s worked for Suzuki dealers’ email capture rates, which Wyatt said have risen from four per cent to 70 per cent over a three-year period thanks to performance being “name, shamed and bonused”
“Digital is now our biggest lead provider and we’re seeing online conversion rates grow. The difference between the worst and best performers is also now converging.”