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Three ways car dealers can win on mobile

By Hugh Dickerson

With more than half of searches on Google from mobile devices this year, smartphones and tablets have become a vital part of the car-buying journey. This isn’t surprising – the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) predicts that by the end of 2014, three in four Britons will own a smartphone and half will own a tablet.

  Hugh Dickerson is Google UK senior industry head of automotive

Hugh Dickerson is Google UK senior industry head of automotive and an AM Awards judge. He is responsible for developing digital brands in the UK.


Across the automotive industry, we are seeing manufacturers embrace this trend, with most having a mobile site. This is a good first step, but consumers are not searching only for brands – they are looking for locally relevant content such as used car inventories, service booking, showroom directions and phone numbers. It is therefore imperative that dealers have a strong mobile presence.

The subject of mobile often throws up many technical questions, but don’t be put off by the jargon. The first question you may ask is whether you should have an app or mobile site. Investing all of your resources in an app and neglecting your mobile website creates a gap in your offering and risks jeopardising your mobile strategy. So I would advocate concentrating on developing your mobile site first. You have a couple of options:

♦  Create a separate mobile site. While often cheaper to build, you’ll have to maintain content on both your desktop and mobile sites.

♦  Create a responsive site that adapts to each device’s screen size. It’s more expensive, but all your metrics are combined and you only have one site to maintain.

Whether you choose a separate mobile site or a responsive site, here are some top tips to ensure it delivers the best experience to today’s mobile customer. 

Tip 1: Mobile web users have little patience, high demands and expect to be accommodated

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