AutoTrader.ca marked a major milestone this month: its mobile app for the iPhone and iPad surpassed one million downloads. If you add in the company’s apps for Android and BlackBerry, Canada’s top automotive classified site now counts more than 1.4 million downloads in total.

What’s perhaps even more remarkable is that 34 percent of all AutoTrader.ca visitors are coming via mobile. That’s well above the industry average for mobile app use (which is closer to 20 percent) and up from the 25 percent which Ian MacDonald, the company’s director of marketing, told us was the percent of mobile users just last year. MacDonald added in our interview with him in September 2012 that he expects a full 50 percent of the site’s traffic to originate on mobile within three years. That doesn’t seem out of reach, based on the company’s track record so far.

AutoTrader.ca has not shied away from pushing its digital product. Indeed, the once ubiquitous print publication, free on supermarket shelves across the country, is now entirely digital with no more print products anywhere in Canada.

With the apps and desktop access, AutoTrader.ca says it received nearly 10 million unique visitors in July 2013.

MacDonald summed up the company’s belief in mobile. “Car buying is one transaction that, even in this digital world, still has to be done in person most of the time,” he said. “Mobile allows our brand to be with the consumer throughout their entire buying cycle, be it at home browsing reviews, or on the dealer’s lot comparing prices.”

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