Going Mobile in your Dealership….Yup, there’s an app for that!

- February 24, 2012

Mobile web­sites are so 60 sec­onds ago!  In 2012 it’s all about mobile apps.  Did you know that mobile users are now spend­ing 30% more time with mobile apps than they are with mobile web­sites? That app down­load­ing recent­ly over­took brows­er usage for U.S. mobile users? That smart­phone and tablet users now spend 94 min­utes a day using apps, com­pared with only 72 min­utes on the Web? Case in point: a bil­lion mobile apps were down­loaded just in the week between Christ­mas and New Year! Yup. A bil­lion.

The good news is that apps can be very cost-effec­tive and even bet­ter for your brand than your mobile web­site because they pro­vide a rich­er con­sumer expe­ri­ence that offers far more fea­tures.

Ready to start your app strat­e­gy? Here are some tips to con­sid­er as you devel­op your dealership’s cus­tom app:

1. Pro­tect your brand! Deal­er groups should have one mobile app strat­e­gy, not one app per store!  Pro­vide a sin­gle app that allows the con­sumer to find each of your rooftops, while also con­sol­i­dat­ing inven­to­ry across your stores.

2. Make your mobile apps use­ful! Con­sumers will use your app more often if it gives them easy access to a wide range of prac­ti­cal and clever tools.  Make sure your app offers cool fea­tures such as a car loca­tor, park­ing meter expi­ra­tion reminders (nev­er get tick­et­ed again for an expired meter), gas sta­tion loca­tors with local gas prices, a flash­light, etc. – there’s a wealth of great options to choose from as you build your app.

3. Use­ful tools are key, but it’s still about sell­ing and ser­vic­ing cars!  Your app must pro­vide up-to-date new and used vehi­cle inven­to­ry list­ings with detailed vehi­cle infor­ma­tion and pic­tures for in-mar­ket cus­tomers.  To increase reten­tion and ser­vice appoint­ments, make sure it auto­mat­i­cal­ly pro­vides your cus­tomers with updat­ed vehi­cle ser­vice his­to­ry, offers ser­vice spe­cials and coupons, and makes it easy to sched­ule ser­vice appoint­ments on the go.

4. Apple is great…but don’t for­get Android!  Your mobile app strat­e­gy needs to be about ubiq­ui­tous pres­ence – get on as many devices as you can, Apple and Android devices in par­tic­u­lar.

5.  Keep mobile con­tent fresh, espe­cial­ly deal­er­ship offers and alerts!  Apps are an icon on your customer’s mobile device – mean­ing your deal­er­ship gets great screen “real estate” — but if you don’t give your cus­tomers fresh infor­ma­tion and com­pelling rea­sons to open your app fre­quent­ly, the app will soon end up delet­ed.

6.  Pro­mote your mobile app in all com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels!  There are over 500,000 apps on the Apple App Store and over 400,000 on the Android Mar­ket.  Con­sumers won’t just find your app, unless you tell them about it.

Mike Mar­tinez, Chief Mar­ket­ing Offi­cer at DMEau­to­mo­tive can be reached by e-mail or by call­ing 866–714-9449.



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