More visitors, shorter stays
Mercedes retools its mobile Web site to make it simpler and speedier
Johnson: Saving customers’ time
A less-is-more approach to mobile devices has traffic booming on Mercedes-Benz USA's mobile Web site.
Mercedes-Benz overhauled its mobile Web site in July, making it simpler and faster to navigate than the previous version.
The company also added a mobile build-a-car configurator -- based on its main Web site but on a smaller scale -- to enable shoppers with smartphones and tablet computers to see models in various colors, interiors and trim, said Derek Johnson, digital platform supervisor for digital marketing.
The changes have helped Mercedes-Benz continue a spurt in mobile visits. This year through September, visits to Mercedes-Benz USA's mobile Web site are up 81 percent over the year-ago period, Johnson said.
Mercedes-Benz ranked 10th on the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Automotive Mobile Site Study that looked at the mobile capabilities of 32 automotive brands. It trailed only Acura and Jaguar among luxury brands.
Johnson said Mercedes-Benz revamped its site to improve the speed and appearance of the experience.
A big improvement was made in navigation that allowed users to move among pages on the site without constantly returning to the home page, he said.
The mobile site today responds much the same as the carmaker's main U.S. Web site, accomplishing a goal of making the sites intuitively similar in navigation and elegance, he said.
The mobile site also tends to load faster for the user than before the changes, making photos and videos seem more accessible, he said.
One of the ironic results is that Mercedes-Benz has had the average time users spend on its mobile Web site decline 7 percent since the changes, Johnson said.
But that's viewed as a plus because users are being more efficient with their time, a reflection of Mercedes-Benz's sensitivity to the busy schedules of customers, he said. Johnson said vendor Usablenet and agency Razorfish were instrumental in refining the site.
A major add-on is the configurator that allows customers to build the vehicles of their choice. It intentionally has limited options for the sake of speed, permitting visitors to see a model in various exterior colors, major trim levels and interior colors.
But for more detailed configurations, a shopper can go to the main Web site.
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