Used car dealers will learn of the importance of a mobile optimised website and the ‘must have’ features from Hugh Dickerson, senior industry head for automotive at Google, will tell delegates at this year’s AM Used Car Conference.
More than 50% of consumers using their smartphones to access the web, mobile-friendly websites are vital for used car operators.
“The digital journey for car-buyers has remained stable for some time and whilst most dealers have yet to fully apply the extent of the knowledge which exists about how the consumer makes the decision to purchase, it is widely accepted,” said Dickerson (pictured).
“However, the area where dealers continue to lag behind is mobile despite the fact that more than half of all consumers use the device to search online.”
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in 2014, 38 million adults (76%) in Great Britain accessed the internet every day, 21 million more than in 2006.
And web access using a mobile phone more than doubled between 2010 and 2014, from 24% to 58%.
Consumers are also buying goods or services online in their droves, in 2014, 74% of all adults made online purchases, up from 53% in 2008.
Dickerson said: “Car-buyers have yet to make the purchase online, but searching for the right vehicle and even comparing prices and models whilst on the used car forecourt with competitors is very much a regular practice.
“A used car locator with pages that can easily be viewed on a smartphone are a must if dealers are to keep pace with consumer demand.
“Dealer websites which take too long to load or used car pages which cannot be easily viewed on a smartphone will see would-be buyers disappearing to another site.
Price, stock and excellent customer reviews won’t matter because buyers won’t have the patience to wait for your site to load on their mobiles.”
More than three quarters of the nation’s adults accessed the internet every day (76%) in 2014, with almost seven out of every 10 (68%) using a mobile phone, portable computer and/or handheld device 'on the go'.
Whilst 16 to 24-year-olds used the internet more than other age groups for recreational purposes, dealers need to be particularly astute to the demands of 25 to 34 –year-olds who are more likely to use the internet for everyday activities, such as purchasing goods or services online (90%), banking (71%) and selling goods or services online (36%).
The 2015 Global Internet Report from the Internet Society also highlights the increasing use of mobile, particularly apps as the predominant way to access the mobile internet. Its latest figures show that 86% of users’ time on mobile devices in the US was spent on apps with the remaining 14% on the mobile web.
Inevitably, mobile internet traffic is growing as more users come on board, but those users are also generating more traffic on average, as such traffic per mobile internet device is predicted to grow significantly with a global compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27% expected between 2014 and 2019.
Dickerson will also present Google’s latest figures which reflect the growing dominance of mobile when researching the next car purchase as well as demonstrating just how difficult it is to access some websites on smartphones.
Taking place on October 20 at Hilton St Geroge’s Park in Burton-on-Trent speakers at this year’s AM Used Car Conference will provide dealers with 10 tangible tips for improving profitability and efficiency at their dealerships.