HiQ, one of the UK's leading tyre and fast fit specialists, is breaking the mould with the launch of the first mobile-friendly website in the tyre industry.

HiQ was quick to respond to customer demand after experiencing rapid growth in visitors accessing its site via mobile devices in the last year. The percentage of customers using a handheld device to access the HiQ Online website has risen dramatically from 10 per cent to 30 per cent. Apple devices account for 70 per cent of all mobile devices used, however the greatest increase has been in the use of iPads with an increase of 272 per cent over the last 12 months.

HiQ has met this demand by providing its customers with an improved online retail experience. Leading the tyre category with a market first, the development of the mobile-friendly site reflects the ever-growing demand for access to information whenever on the move - meaning that customers can thoroughly carry out online research before making a purchase at their local HiQ centre.

The mobile site allows users to search for the best tyre to suit the make and model of their car by entering their car registration number if they don't have their tyre size to hand. Consumers can also browse all MOT, parts and servicing deals then find their nearest HiQ Centres to book their fitting or service.  The mobile site also provides access to the HiQ tyre pressure guide to ensure customers existing tyres are as safe and fuel-efficient as possible.

Geraldine McGovern, HiQ Create Demand Manager, commented: "This development really benchmarks HiQ against the retail sector, and came about after we received 80,000 visits from mobile devices following the launch of our improved site in December 2011 - a sophisticated "shop window" for the brand via HiQonline.co.uk. We realised that there was real demand for a mobile version - and also a business case. By optimising the purchase journey for customers, HiQ's new mobile site increases conversion and drives greater footfall to the retail network of franchises, which totals 140 across the UK.

"In a market that was down 12 per cent year on year (source GFK to November 2011), HiQ outperformed the sector by +4 per cent in 2011, and our tyre sales increased by 5.3 per cent thanks to the improved website.  More than 6,000 online bookings have also been made since the service launched.  We can attribute this to users wanting to make better informed decisions before parting with their hard earned cash.  We believe that users will now really feel the benefit of our mobile site."

The optimised mobile site complements HiQ's 140strong retail network with online shop windows, which earlier this year were enhanced to allow each centre to present the services they offer. It also allows the franchisee to upload photos of their team, share latest offers and manager's specials, plus display location details.  The local HiQ centre sites also have a facility for customers to add ratings and reviews so that users can write about their experience and share it with others. 

Supporting HiQ's "fast fit you can be sure of"proposition, there is also a handy expert advice section, allowing users to find out more about their car - from tips on general car maintenance all the way through to how to use jump cables.

Geraldine added:"The need to buy a new tyre is often a distress purchase, and can be a daunting one as many consumers simply don't know what they need.  We are keen to help educate customers in choosing the right tyre for their needs, and as such, want to provide reassurance in the decision they are making - whether they're on the move or at home."  

"The mobile site is just one of many exciting developments within HiQ's online portfolio planned for 2012 and beyond. Next, we will be introducing an animated tyre labelling video to help explain this to customers, as well as adding further support to customers online to help them make their purchase decision with confidence."

Since January 2012, there have been over 400,000  visits to HiQonline.co.uk, and over 1.8 million page views. From January to June 2011 versus the same period in 2012, visits are up by 46.55 per cent to www.HiQonline.co.uk on last year, achieving 48.20 per cent more unique visits, 60.95 per cent more page views and yielding a reduction in bounce rate of 11.90 per cent.

Since launching the ratings and reviews functionality this May on www.HiQonline.co.uk, HiQ has received 239 reviews, 188 of which have been five star reviews.