Why Dealer Websites are Ideal for Responsive Website Design
If there’s any business that relies on the internet that requires responsive website design, it’s the localized car business. Car companies like Ford don’t need them. Car dealers and third-party sites, the places where people go when they’re in “decision-making mode”, are the ones that need them desperately.
It was in watching a co-worker searching for a car that I learned this lesson very quickly. She was wanting to show a vehicle that she was considering to her friend. She had found it while at home on her desktop and emailed it to herself to show on her phone to people at the office. As she pulled up the email and opened the link, she found to her dismay that the link took her to the homepage of the dealer’s website.
“I know it was here,” she said. “This is annoying.”
She went through and tried to locate the exact vehicle, but there were several on the mobile version of the website that matched her search. I watched as she checked car after car looking for the one that had the things she wanted. After 5 tries, she finally found the right one. At this point, she didn’t even want to show it to them anymore. The mobile version didn’t have all of the pictures nor the video that she wanted to show.
“You’d think that by now the internet would have the ability to show the same thing on a smart phone that you can get on your desktop,” she commented.
Oh, but there is such a technology. It’s called responsive website design.
The Mulling Factor
When you’re buying shoes, computers, books, or just about any other retail item, the experience is normally in and out. You find what you want and make your purchase. In the automotive world, very few people make a decision on the first pass. They find vehicles they want to consider and they mull them over. They might visit a vehicle details page multiple times on multiple devices before making a decision about it.
This is why responsive website design is ideal in the automotive industry. With RWD, people get the same basic experience on every page of a website regardless of what device type they’re using. It resizes and often reformats to properly work with the device size and screen orientation, allowing for a smoother overall experience. Most website providers in the car business use older types of platforms. Companies like DealerOn are putting their dealers on responsive websites.
It’s only an anecdote, but it’s a powerful one. How many people get annoyed with dealer websites every day when the experience changes from device to device? Probably a lot.