Chapter 1: Introduction
Digital technology are referred to as various tools and equipments which are preferred by an organisation for purpose of storing and manipulation of data. The main elements which are included in digital technology are social media platforms, websites, cloud computing and productivity applications. These are referred to be crucial elements as every organisation is making attempts in making sure that they mark their presence on the such platforms as it has emerged to be highly advantageous to an organisation. The Small and medium enterprises are growth drivers of the economy and constitute as a major section of the income which has been availed by economy of the company. Technology have been defined to be growing necessity and there is a great inclination of the business world towards adopting digital technology. Trade and commerce which has been attained through technological advancement is appreciated as it gave rise to comfort and convenience in business transactions (Argote, 2012). The major changes have been incorporated. The concept of globalisation is further promoted through technological tools and have made it extremely easy for organisations to carry out their operations overcoming geographical and time constraints. This concept is not only enhanced trading but also plays a crucial role in the contemporary marketing services which are carried out by an institution.
This research will be attempting to form conclusion on the alteration which has been introduced with the development of mobile applications. The automotive sector in United Kingdom is referred to as crucial sector for the economy. Autotrader is an public limited company focuses on trading in second hand cars and classified advertising business which are its major source of revenue (Doong and Ho, 2012). This organisation have known to be present on all major digital platforms which have helped in maintaining a competitive edge in the operating market. Along with offering advantages there are some shortcoming as well such as hacking and use of malicious apps which have led to question this development and forming right conclusion on the same.
The revolution on the digital platforms have made it essential to identify its implication on a automotive organisation which has been carrying out its operations in the market of United Kingdom. The topic which has been undertaken is worthy as it has become a latest trend in the market for business organisation to develop mobile application for their respective businesses. The dramatic changes in manner in which businesses are conducted is worth understanding and it is essential to identify roles in fuelling of business growth for a business organisation. Academically it will be helpful in understanding role which has been catered through development of mobile applications in an organisation. On practical grounds, it will be helpful to an organisation in making decision whether mobile applications development is advantageous to an organisation or not.
The research Aim defines the target which are to be achieved through undertaking of this study. It is defined to provide a framework to be considered during formulation of objectives for the study. The ultimate goal which is formulated for this study is, “To determine the importance of mobile application development for growth in Automotive sector - a case study on Autotrader, UK.”
The research objectives are formed on the basis of aim constructed for the study. They are helpful in stating scope for the study and ultimately helpful in collecting right information for the study leading to form right conclusions. The objectives formed should neither too wide or narrow so that adequate information is collected through setting up of right objectives. The objectives which are formed for this study are as follows:
- To identify the importance of Mobile application development in automotive sector.
- To determine the manner in which Autotrader utilises mobile application platform.
- To ascertain the benefits gained by Autotrader after the implementation of mobile application technology.
- Recommend ways through which Autotrader can improve their services in market by making use of mobile application technology.
Research questions are an attempt through which objectives are to be answered. The formulation of questions makes it easier to collect information which is helpful in answering and ultimately achieving goals for the study. The research questions for this study are as follows:
- How important is Mobile application development in automotive sector?
- How Autotrader utilises mobile application platform.
- What are the benefits could be gained by Autotrader after the implementation of mobile application technology.
- Recommendation of ways through which Autotrader can improve their services in market by making use of mobile application technology.
Chapter 2: Literature Review
Importance of mobile application in automotive sector
It can be said that UK automotive sector is going through a major turnaround during incorporation of technology. The car manufacturing at present is at its highest in this financial year and there are increase in the Auto exports as well which depicts the importance this domain stands. Digital Technology in this domain have been able to introduce dramatic changes and have provided numerous opportunities to prosper. The incorporation of technology have been helpful in innovation and portrayal of bunch of new features in this segment. The concept of digitalisation stands crucial in this segment as it is helpful for businesses in staying competitive in the business market (Eriksson and Westerberg, 2011). There is a significant reduction in time, cost and efforts and are able to fulfil requirement of customers in the right manner. It has been identified that development of mobile applications have been influence when it comes to purchasing of vehicle and deriving ownership experience. The features such as convenience, comfort and speed have been very useful for automotive dealers to exceed in the market. Research identified that there are more than 70% of people who own a smartphone in the country which definitely impacted the ownership of the vehicle. The organisation dealing in automotive sector have made sure that they are being present on the such platforms as they have enhanced the manner in which sales could be enhanced along with management of relationship with the consumers. The time which has been spent on dealer's mobile application is 400% more than that of official website along with this there is turnaround in the number of visitors as well. Therefore it is essential to design an app which is under friendly and possess an intuitive platform. The mobile application should make sure that it is useful and provides value to the consumers so that they keep visiting mobile application again and again.
Utilisation of mobile application platform by Autotrader
It can be said that cars dealership is an attempt to fulfil requirement of the consumers who are budget conscious. The incorporation of information technology have been influential in purchasing decision of consumers. The mobile applications are referred to be as attempt which have been successful in bridging gap between consumers and seller and have redefined the manner in which marketing and advertising practices have been carried out (Forzani and Leu, 2012). The automotive industry can be said to have one of the fastest when it comes to embracing trend for mobile application. Autotrader is an organisation which possess a mobile site which is known to offered according to handset capability but it was in the year 2010 when this organisation developed its own mobile applications which can be used for searching and obtaining information related to vehicles.
The description for Autotrader mobile application states that it is an application that helps consumers in availing right certified cars nearby. The consumers are provided with filtering options with which they are able to find certified cars which is being desired or required by them. The user friendly intuitive assures that organisation possess a ultimate shopping experience to consumers (Hughes, 2012). This automotive dealer have been catering consumers with high resolution images through Content Delivery Network (CDN) platform. The outcomes of the same is that customers are provided with an engaging digital experience which is much improved that traditional websites. The accessibility and high resolution images are the distinct features which led to increase in their area of operations. The company prior to partnership with CDN have been introducing regular features after regular intervals and competitive prices which are being offered by organisation emerges as a major highlighting feature leading to its popularity in the market.
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Benefits of using mobile application technology for Autotrader, UK
It can be said that there are numerous benefits which can be availed by an organisation when venturing into mobile application development. Significant which are being availed by Autotrader with development of mobile application are as follows:
Sales boost: It can be said that a consumers when looking to buy a vehicle spends significant time in carrying out of research and identifying and selecting vehicle which suits their requirement in the right manner. The mobile application for this organisation attempts to provide all the relevant information which is necessary to make a purchase. The quality and amount of information which has been catered on that platform will be helpful in making purchasing decision. The presence of mobile application for a business provides consumers with confidence to purchase the vehicle from the business. There have an identification of direct link between presence of mobile application and sales of an enterprise. The ability to establish communication with consumers in a straightforward manner along with promotions is enough to influence sales.
Wider reach: The presence of an organisation over online platforms is enhances its reach as people from various geographical regions can access products and services which are being offered (The Importance of Information Technology In Business Today, 2015). It has been identified that there are approximately 51% people in the United Kingdom who are willing to purchase an automotive go through a mobile application with which they attempt to identify various offers related to payment and promotions. The interface with the mobile is now more preferred than face to face interaction with the dealer. Through mobile applications, consumers can apply for appointments with seller as per their convenience so that there are minimum discrepancies.
Competitiveness: Another benefits which could be availed through development of mobile application platform is that it engages a person in purchasing process which ultimately keeps people away from identification of the substitutes. The technical term which is opted in this segment is 'Geofencing'. It attempts to create an invisible perimeters around consumers with the help of discounts and offers so that they do not look for any other organisation (Kallunki, Laitinen and Silvola, 2011). The mobile application provides an organisation with competitive edge over dealers who are still confined to traditional measures of trading in automotive sector.
Better customer relations: A mobile application have emerged to be one of greatest tool to impart knowledge to consumers. They can be informed related to latest trends and proceeding in the competitive market through push notifications. This feature have indirectly helped an organisation in saving loads of money which was being spent on sending out of flyers. The mobile application can be utilised by the business in engaging consumers and resolving their queries in an immediate manner leading to suitable results for an enterprise.
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Recommendation for improvement in service provision
It is essential for management of this business to continuously review business policies and strategies so that they could be improved and leads to better service provision to clients. Some of the recommendations in this approach are as follows:
- It is recommended to this organisation to include an in-app chat support for consumers. It is an approach which will be helpful in dealing with queries and along with enhancing conversion rates. There will be a direct impact on the experience which has been derived by the consumers and can simply ask what they are looking at this platform. This organisation can make use of variety of option related to in-app chat support so that right chat functionality can be embedded.
- The mobile application should be able to collect information related to consumers so that they could be provided with relevant notifications based on the searching pattern. The provision of customised notifications have identified to be a crucial manner through which customers could be engaged and retained with the organisation for longer duration. If the relevancy of notifications is higher it will persuade clients to spend more time on the application ultimately enhancing conversion rates.
- It is essential to embed functionality such as access to camera. GPS and phone so that they could be provided directions to reach seller and ultimately resulting in improved footfall and better chances of selling automotive vehicle.
- It is essential to inculcate A/B testing so that users could be categorised on existing app and some are presented with the latest experimental design so that functionality and interface of mobile application could be improved. The recommendation of people could be taken into consideration so that it leads to development of an ideal mobile application platform on the behalf of an enterprise.
- The final recommendation is that it UI which has been formed for the mobile application should be adaptive rather than focusing on creating a separate for different technology. It will be easier for organisation to deal with dynamism of market with right approach.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology
The Research methodology defines the manner in which information is collected and analysed to achieve targets formulated for this study. The research methodologies undertakes numerous tools and approaches so that relevant information is collected on subject topic. This approach is considered vital as scholar in this segment construct plans and strategies which are to be undertaken for fulfilment of targets. It is helpful in collecting information from numerous sources and finding conclusions for this study through a comprehensive research (Markham, 2011). The research methodology is constructed into numerous sub-segments which are as follows:
Type of Investigation
The approach through which investigation is to be conducted is to determined by the scholar before undertaking of the study as there are numerous ways through which aim could be fulfilled. The researcher needs to identify most suitable approach to conducting investigation out of qualitative and quantitative measures. Quantitative research focuses on quantity aspects of data which can be further conveyed in form of numerics and statistics. On the other hand, Qualitative aspects takes into consideration quality of data which has been obtained through investigation. For this particular study, Qualitative approach to investigation is considered.
It is referred to another section which involves decision making by a scholar as he have to identify right design with which investigation will be carried out. The research design can be categorised on the basis of descriptive, exploratory and experimental. Descriptive research design is an attempt to identify underlying reason and provides solution to problems encountered. Experimental research design is an attempt which lead to examination of the independent variable on dependent variable and attempt to identify relationship which has been shared between the same. Finally, research design which has been considered in this study is exploratory as it intents to identify more information on the subject topic and combined with qualitative research leading to form right conclusions (Mellis and et.al., 2013).
It is a belief which defines phenomenon with which data will be collected and analysed. This section of the research focuses on obtaining information form perspectives of others mostly writers and experts. The common research philosophies which are preferred while undertaking a study are interpretivism and Positivism. The philosophy which will be emphasized in this approach is Interpretivism philosophies which attempts to conduct an assessment between human and social factors. This philosophy works best in accordance with qualitative investigation and assist in identifying role which has been catered by the social factors so that their views and perspectives could be considered.
The research approach consist of a plan which leads to formulation of plan and procedure which could be undertaken for the purpose of collection and interpretation of data. The research can be categorised onto two parts such as Inductive and deductive approaches. For the purpose of completion of this study, inductive research approaches is considered due to its suitability with qualitative research design. The logic behind undertaking inductive inferences is that it is helpful in forming right conclusion for the study. The data collection in this undertaking emphasizing on creating a theme and formulation of conceptual framework which is helpful in conducting study (Morrow, 2011).
Data sampling is defined to be an analytical tool which is utilised by the researcher in undertaking this study. This provides a determination of data which is to be collected for the completion of this research. The people which are undertaken in sampling must be able to represent the whole population. The simple random sampling is undertaken in this study which provides equal opportunity to all the members to be a part of sample. The reason being this approach is considered is that there are minimal chances of being partial and assists a scholar in carrying out analysis of data collected (Sweetser, English and Fernandes, 2015). The size of sample which has been finalised by the researcher stands at 30. this research aims to find a conclusion therefore non-probabilistic sampling is being highlighted.
It is referred to as one of crucial segment on which importance of research relies. The quality of data collected by the scholar helps in determination the success and failure of research. A research can make use of primary and secondary sources of data collection. It is essential to use of variety of information tool so that broader view could be generated (Jordan and Troth, 2011). The scholar is constructing a questionnaire which will be helpful in gathering first hand views and opinions of people. The benefits which can be availed from undertaking this sources of data collection is that it is suitable and relevant to subject topic. There are variety of secondary sources which are considered as well such as newspapers, journals, articles and internet. Such sources help in generating additional information on the subject but considered to less reliable and in-adequate.
The data which has been collected through numerous sources is analysed so that outcomes could be developed. The data which has been collected it to be analysed with help of right tools and approaches so that right conclusion can be drawn. Questionnaire is being undertaken for purpose of collecting data encompassing views and opinions of different people.
The ethical consideration in research is a crucial segment which is to be emphasized in contemporary business environment. Therefore it is crucial to consider ethics as they may alter the manner in which research is conducted. The need for ethical consideration enhances when a research involves interaction with people or business houses. The foremost consideration is that researcher should have a good intention relating to this research. It is very important to protect information which has been catered by participants along with research scholars. The aspect of confidentiality is to be maintained so that ethics related to research could be conformed.
Validity and Reliability
Reliability is an attempt which defines consistency the results which are derived out of research. It can be said that research in this segment is reliable as it helps in attaining right information related to subject topic. The tool which has been emphasized in this study are reliable therefore leads to right conclusions. All the information obtained will be investigated and ultimately leading to formation of targets which has been formulated for this research undertaking.
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Chapter 4: Timeline of research Activities
Timelines are referred to be crucial feature of a research as they help in determining feasibility of the study. It is essential to identify appropriate time which could be allotted to each activity so that they could be carried out in right manner. The lack of experience hinder capability of a scholar to form suitable time due to lesser familiarity with the activities. Therefore it is essential to cross check the formed time scale with an experienced scholar for correction. It is important to understand amount of time which has been allotted for the project initiating with beginning date and to reaching final product. It is essential to provide an overview weekly of activities which are to be carried out. The scholar can review samples which has been formed for the research previously so that time scale for this study could be formulated.
Chapter 5: References
- Argote, L., 2012.Organizational learning: Creating, retaining and transferring knowledge. Springer Science & Business Media.
- Doong, S. H. and Ho, S. C., 2012. The impact of ICT development on the global digital divide. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications.11(5). pp.518-533.
- Eriksson, P. E. and Westerberg, M., 2011. Effects of cooperative procurement procedures on construction project performance: A conceptual framework. International Journal of Project Management.29(2) . pp.197-208.
- Forzani, E. and Leu, D.J., 2012, October. New literacies for new learners: The need for digital technologies in primary classrooms. In The Educational Forum(Vol. 76, No. 4, pp. 421-424). Taylor & Francis Group.
- Hughes, L.M. ed., 2012. Evaluating and measuring the value, use and impact of digital collections. Facet Publishing.
- Jordan, P. J. and Troth, A., 2011. Emotional intelligence and leader member exchange: The relationship with employee turnover intentions and job satisfaction. Leadership & Organization Development Journal.32(3) . pp.260-280.
- Kallunki, J. P., Laitinen, E.K. and Silvola, H., 2011. Impact of enterprise resource planning systems on management control systems and firm performance.International Journal of Accounting Information Systems.12(1) . pp.20-39.
- Markham, T., 2011. Project based learning a bridge just far enough. Teacher Librarian.39(2). p.38.
- Mellis, D. and et.al., 2013, April. FAB at CHI: digital fabrication tools, design, and community. In CHI'13 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems(pp. 3307-3310). ACM.