Luxury Brands Should Develop Mobile Sites and Here is Why!

Posted on August 3, 2011

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Luxury Daily  A great daily eZine of commerce information – “Luxury auto buyers will be most likely to own the fastest, newest, shiniest phone as well as car,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis, Atlanta. “This demographic demands to have access [to the brand] via their mobile phone.

“That is the reason they have purchased a phone that has all of the bells and whistles, because they intend to use it,” she said. “A luxury automaker can use the mobile site for sales efforts to this demographic in such really cool ways to grab their attention.”

Luxury automakers that develop a mobile-optimized site increase the chances of wooing brand loyalists and growing sales in a cost-effective and cross-platform direction.

Rather than developing and manufacturing a mobile application for one type of smartphone or tablet, optimized sites are usually available on many devices so that a larger number of consumers can see content. Additionally, affluent consumers who desire luxury cars are likely to do research via mobile.

Driving sales
Luxury automakers have different degrees of mobile-optimized sites.

For instance, Toyota Corp.’s Lexus leads the consumer directly to the mobile site when consumers type “Lexus.com” in the mobile browser.

The mobile site displays the brand’s recent campaign, Engineering Amazing, on the homepage. It also includes a shout-out to the Lexus Enform mobile app.

lexus-mobile-site

Lexus’ mobile site

Consumers can browse models, dealerships and find assistance on the site, as well as sign up for the Lexus newsletter and view the Lexus magazine.

However, some automakers unintentionally make the experience a little more difficult by not redirecting to a mobile site.

For example, when consumers try to get to Mercedes-Benz’s mobile site, they may have to try a little harder.

Typing in “Mercedes-Benz.com” to the mobile browser leads the consumer to the non-optimized site found on a desktop, while typing in “mobile.Mercedes-Benz.com” takes them to the international branded site in German.

However, typing in “mbusa.com” will bring consumers to Mercedes’ United States and English-language mobile site.

mercedes-mobile-site

Mercedes’ mobile site

Other luxury brands, such as Porsche, Audi and BMW require users to type “m.” or “mobile.” before the regular URL to get to the mobile site.

However, this could easily frustrate consumers.

“When users get an email with a URL and click-through either on the PC or the mobile phone, they want the site to be smart enough to recognize their phone and know when to display a mobile site versus a PC site,” Ms. Troutman said.

Brand image
Rather than just having a mobile site for bragging rights, luxury automakers should actually make their sites interesting and intriguing for affluent consumers.

For instance, images should be the focal point of the site, per Ms. Troutman.

Since consumers cannot see a car in-person, making sure that a large, clear image of the product will help add to the luxury experience.

Automakers should also incorporate actions that are worthwhile to consumers.

For instance, the brands should try to highlight a feature that accents a sports car including accelerometers or calendar events for test driving, Ms. Troutman said.

Although mobile apps may add engagement and prove brand loyalty with downloads, mobile sites could be a better option for luxury automakers.

“A mobile app would need to have a download and take up real estate on the auto buyers phone,” Ms. Troutman said. “I’m not sure that this is what they will use the app space on their phone for.”

However, one of the options is better than none.

For example, brands such as Ferrari and Aston Martin do not have mobile sites, but they do have iPhone apps.

ferrari-nonmobile-site

Ferrari’s site is not optimized for mobile

After all, brand retention cross-platform is one of the most important things to have, per Ms. Troutman.

“As mobile phones progress and usage is so dense, it’s difficult to even find one person that doesn’t have a mobile phone,” Ms. Troutman said. “The public will demand that businesses get smarter and cater to their needs, especially in the luxury brand space.”

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