Gear Up for Mobile

Carlist.my, Malaysia’s top car site, adopted a mobile-first approach for both buyers and sellers. This decision generated an enormous 934% jump in mobile traffic, which now constitutes 61% of all traffic to its website.

GOALS

  • Help mobile buyers quickly and easily select and buy a car
  • Help mobile sellers list cars within 90 seconds

APPROACH

  • Applied a mobile-first customer model
  • Redesigned the website around mobile functions
  • Continually adjusted, optimized, and tested the user experience
  • Acted on user feedback (both buyer and seller)

RESULTS

  • 934% growth in mobile traffic
  • 61% of site traffic now from mobile
  • 354% increase in mobile leads

Malaysians get mobile buying & selling cars online

Launched in 2009, Carlist.my is Malaysia's top car site with more than 165,000 cars for sale on any given day. This brand connects buyers and sellers on a single website that combines online classified ads with auto-related content. Every month, an average of 1.5 million users, many on their smartphones, search for cars on Carlist.my.

Carlist.my’s Outlook

“Increasingly, we've noticed people visiting our website from mobile devices,” says Jason Thoe, country manager of Carlist.my. “Search is instant these days. Consumers don’t wait until they get home to research cars on their laptops. Those days are long gone.”

Carlist.my’s goal is to help buyers find the best information to make a selection, then provide them with the easiest path to purchase. They also strive to help sellers list and sell their cars online through a quick, intuitive process.

“We’ve thought carefully about the user experience in a mobile-first world, and we’ve prioritized the ecosystem for both buyers and sellers.” – Jason Thoe, country manager

How Carlist.my started its journey

“We thought carefully about the user experience in a mobile-first world, and we prioritized the ecosystem for both buyers and sellers,” Thoe says. “This is done through tweaking and optimizing the user experience based on how people interact with the site.”

Based on its analysis, the company revamped the mobile site with a simpler, “thumb-friendly” navigation design to let users easily find the cars they want. The most popular information was moved to the front page for better access. The site also uses predictive text recognition, which helps reduce the time that users need to type in all the information. “Our vision was to make it seamless and easy for sellers to get a car onto our platform, all in under 90 seconds,” Thoe explains.

What Carlist.my has learned about mobile customers

  • Today’s users search on the go. Car sellers and buyers are spending greater time on mobile, doing business with their smartphones instead of a laptop or desktop. Mobile is pervasive in Malaysia, where one in three people now uses a smartphone—and the numbers are still skyrocketing.
  • Mobile real estate is limited. Mobile websites accessed on smartphones must be “thumb-friendly” and have clearly legible labels and text.
  • Mobile helps businesses get closer to customers. “Mobile offers the greatest potential for a brand to get close and personal with consumers. We’re literally at their fingertips,” Thoe says. “Mobile allows us a quicker way to get feedback than ever before.”

Changes and solutions

Carlist.my made decisions in three key areas to ensure the success of its mobile site:

  • Focused on three mobile functions. The camera gives sellers the ability to snap pictures of the cars they’re selling and upload them quickly and easily to the site. The click-to-call function lets buyers click and connect to sellers immediately. Additionally, simplified input—including key data such as model, type, location, and price range—gives users seamless access to the website’s buy and sell functions.
  • Instituted continual measurements and tests. “We measure performance primarily through engagement and conversion metrics,” Thoe says. “Engagement for us covers areas such as time on site and bounce rates. We also do a lot of A/B testing on the pages to see which site components perform best. This includes colors and fonts.”
  • Introduced a custom search option. This function lets users easily find cars with particular specifications such as model, price, and mileage. Users can also combine certain keywords with these categories and further narrow the search results. Since providing tailored search results can directly affect sales, Carlist.my designed its search function to be as straightforward as possible for mobile users.
“What we’re creating with mobile today is a foundation for more innovations in the future.” – Jason Thoe, country manager

Results and future plans

Carlist.my has continually evolved since first adopting a mobile-first approach as the foundation of its overall strategy, especially in terms of site structure. The company takes advantage of its measurements and feedback from customers to learn, reiterate, and refine the website.

“When we look at all functionalities—whether marketing, products, or customer service—the mobile experience is always first on everyone’s mind,” Thoe says. As a result of this “mobile-first” approach, the site has seen a 934% growth in mobile traffic over two years. Mobile now contributes 61% of overall traffic, with an impressive 354% increase in leads from mobile.

Looking ahead, Thoe adds, “we’re very excited by the future of mobile. What we’re creating with mobile today is a foundation for more innovations in the future.”

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