Dealers need to adapt their online technology as more customers are now accessing websites on different devices and platforms, according to motor industry technology provider iVendi.
iVendi points out that just a few years ago, a dealer could viably offer a website that only worked on PC versions of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari.
Now, however, there is a proliferation of many smartphone and tablet browsers and platforms, including iOS and Android.
James Tew, director at iVendi, said: “We look at a lot of dealer websites and many of them simply don’t work properly on all of the devices that customers are now using to access websites.
“Someone browsing your used car stock might access it on a PC at work during their lunch break but then want to look again on their smartphone on the train home or on their iPad when they get there.
“If your site doesn’t work properly on any of those devices, they may well go elsewhere because of the irritation factor.
“This is an issue that needs tackling by many dealers quickly.
“The rapid growth in tablet and smartphone use over the last couple of years has completely changed the way that customers interact with the internet and the arrival of 4G will only help to speed this process as mobile devices start to deliver broadband-like speeds.”
The answer, according to Tew, lies in an approach called Responsive Web Design (RWD), where the website automatically reconfigures itself to the best design for each type of device, creating the best possible user experience for each customer.
He said: “You can easily see where a dealer website has used RWD. It’ll work on everything from a desktop PC to a smartphone and will even take account of factors such as whether you are holding the phone in a landscape or portrait position.
“However, RWD dealer websites are still relatively rare and we believe that dealers are missing a real opportunity by not adopting the technology. Those businesses that make their online facilities easy to access may quickly gain an advantage.”
A simple test to see whether your website needs to adopt RWD is to look at your Google Analytics statistics, which will show profiles of the types of devices that are being used to access your website.