August 24, 2008

KBB.com Goes iPhone Friendly

Kelly Blue Book, your most trusted source on automotive resell value, is now ready to serve you, in your pocket. If you think about this, the folks at KBB.com are really progressive bunch. As a kid, when I visited a car dealership with my father, the greasy sales guy would pull out a little pocket book to look up the resale value of our Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme. Few years later, in high school, I remember accessing Kelly Blue Book's website from home to print out a car's value prior to going to a car dealer to negotiate. Kelly Blue Book people have always strive to bring their services to the consumers utilizing technology. And now, they are bringing their service via mobile technology.

Today, KBB.com is committed to provide their information to you, in your pocket. The only thing is, unlike that greasy sales guy back in 1989, you'd be pulling the numbers out of your pocket via an iPhone/iPod Touch. (No offense to greasy car salesmen everywhere, perhaps you guys will be pulling car data out of your iPhone on the lot, instead of "checking" with a manager in that backroom where I know you were just stuffing your face with another donut).

I visited KBB.com on my iPhone, the first time around it pulled up the normal HTML website on mobile Safari. The folks at KBB asked that I try visiting iPhone.kbb.com if problem persists, but I never had to do that. The second try redirected me to the iPhone-optimized page. Overall, the core functions of what we've come to known for Kelly Blue Book are there, ie. new/used car make, model, trim, pricing and resell value. The site is designed with simplicity in mind and it has achieved that. There is the ability to set my location, however, I am not sure if at this stage, the iPhone-optimized site is taking advantage of that info. Which leads to my feedback: I wish after a vehicle has been searched for, KBB.com can provide 1). nearest dealerships and 2). the inventory of the said vehicle at each dealership. Additionally, the overall design of the iPhone site is not friendly with anyone who's got fat fingers. As you can see from the screenshots provided, the menu buttons are narrow; it gets a little narrower as you go deeper into the sub-menus (of models and trims).

Beyond that, I think KBB.com has made great effort in providing their service to consumers (first the internet, now mobile internet). I always applaud large companies taking their initiatives onto the mobile platform; these companies are the ones more likely to succeed in the new age, because by the time mobile net hits critical mass; they will be the "experts" of such practice. Kudos to Kelly Blue Book.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just FYI, you can see nearest dealers. When you drill down to the trim level, there is a "Find a Dealer" button.