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I am still not sold on Mobile Apps for Dealerships

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by kevinfrye, Nov 30, 2012.

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  1. kevinfrye

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    I will share that we have mobile apps for our dealerships - but I still don't see significant downloads or use. Having a mobile app for your dealership seems to be the "sexy thing to do" in your efforts to address your mobile needs, but it just doesn't pass the common sense test with me.

    Note these 2 results of a recent study on mobile apps for automotive (from searchengineland.com, ran by Danny Sullivan, one of the best):
    • Mobile car searchers are using the Web over apps 92% of the time.
    • Car searching is only an occasional habit, thus doesn’t necessitate users to download an app for chronic use.
    Convince me why I am wrong. As we are all planning 2013 budgets, I have to question the value of paying for a solution that it seems few are using. And take a look at the article I referenced

    Auto Industry Benefiting From Growth In Mobile Search
     
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  3. JamieS

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    Just my opinion here as we actually don't have an app yet but are working on a mobile site. But when (not if!) we create an app I think it'll be more about building value in the post sale features for clients than trying to get people to shop inventory. I'm with you in a sense in that there are so many portals for information that an app can seem like just another way to find information.

    I think if it contains pertinent information on things like service scheduling, roadside assistance numbers, customer service numbers, etc. and is properly presented, installed, and demo'd to folks at delivery it will be successful (things like UI and design aside). I don't look at as a revenue generator per se, but a value laden, time saving tool for clients. Something that may even come up in conversation at one point or another and make some sort of impact on social peers.
     
  4. ryan.leslie

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    I agree with you that it is probably wishful thinking that the consumer will download an app and accept the perception that they've limited themselves just to your inventory in the research phase of the buying cycle. I would never download a Best Buy app if I were in market for a TV for example, I wouldn't want to miss something from Amazon. Mobile web use makes much more common sense to me as well.

    I agree that the value point of an app is post-sale and as Jamie said, the value of the app to the dealer is entirely dependent on the value of the app to the consumer.

    I know a lot of dealers have had success with "we want your trade" themed mailers or "get a new car for less than you are paying for the one you are driving that needs repair" approaches in the service waiting room. Can your app replicate that? How cool would it be to get a push notification from my dealer that I can drop my payment AND get a new car, maybe better than that, what about a bell curve of expected trade value the consumer can pull at will through your app? If I'm on the fence and see a declining trade value looming that may be the motivation I need to move forward with a purchase. If nothing else it would be really interesting/valuable to your marketing effort to know how often trade values were pulled by your sold customers.

    (Just my opinions and musings, I'm certainly no expert on mobile apps.)
     
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  5. JamieS

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    Yes push notifications! I forgot about that :cool:.
     
  6. ddcgreg

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    I checked into mobile applications for dealers a few years back, and thought I'd share a few articles and stats that I came across relating to how often mobile apps are used after downloading the first time.

    Most iPhone applications gathering dust (Feb 2009)

    • only 30% of people who BUY an iPhone application actually use it the day after it was purchased
    • After 20 days, less than 5% actively use the same app
    • The drop-off is WORSE for free applications
    So let's say your dealer app has been downloaded 500 times...if you take these numbers above:
    • @ 30%, 150 customers may use that app the day after it's purchased
    • After 20 days & only 5% active users, you're down to 25 users...and that's if they bought the app!

    First Impressions Matter! 26% of Apps Downloaded in 2010 Were Used Just Once (Jan 2011)
    Localytics-one-time-app-usage1.jpg

    A Look at How People Use Mobile Apps (June 2012)
    • 31% of mobile users opened up their apps at least 11 times or more over a nine-month period
    • 69% of users opened an app 10 times or less
    • 25% using the app just once after downloading it
    *The stats from this article do not specify paid vs. free apps

    Unless a customer is given a compelling reason to continually revisit your mobile app, the numbers are not in your favor! The question I hear being asked lately is, "what can a mobile app do that a mobile/website cannot accomplish today?"

    Hopefully some of these stats and articles are helpful in your research!
     
  7. Chris Cachor

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    Honestly, it's rare you'll find someone wanting an app from a car dealership on their phone. Maybe a Chevy owner will want a Chevy app, but really that's it. The hoops to jump through for getting the app approved, updated for retina, etc. is just ridiculous for this sort of application.

    You want to build a web app. Behaves like an app on the phone, developed with HTML5 technologies, and updates whenever you want. There's a lot of new developer tools to make the development quick, polished, and much less costly.
     
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  8. Alex Snyder

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    I would like to see manufacturers offer apps that are driven toward service check-ups and things about the car they're driving. BMW has done some cool apps, but haven't connected them back to the retail experience. If they allowed dealers to place special offers into it there would be a local flavor consumers would connect to even more. Manufactures can also work with the latest technology, like Apple's Passbook, where it would take dealers a much longer time to integrate.
     
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  9. JamieS

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    As far as deleting free apps I would agree, in the general sense of things. They are quick to d/l and if they don't meet your expectations you delete them. I do it all the time. That's why I say it needs to be part of the delivery process where a sales person or manager explain the benefits. If I bought a New car and my rep explained that if I had any trouble all I had to do was open up the app and click roadside assistance I can tell you that app would become a permanent fixture. In fact as a salesperson it would part of my value building of why my dealer is the one you want to buy from. It may be small, but any extra convenience offered can go a long way.
     
  10. ewalraven

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    Mobile website - yes
    Mobile app - no

    I just don't see this benefiting the dealership or the customer. What are they getting out of the app they can't get off the website - Super Secret Specials? Contests? Notification?

    Apps I use EVERYDAY:
    - GMail
    - Google
    - Dolphin
    - Seesmic
    - Facebook (ugh)
    - Viggle
    - Bike Race

    Until an app is developed that brings me the need and/or satisfaction of those apps .. I'm just not buying into it. I had some good ideas I was going to blurb on, but then I realized everything I said isn't really targeted for mobile.

    Who the heck is offering this stuff for the auto-industry? What's their big selling point?
     
  11. Ryan Thompson

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    I think it would be useful to post Apps you use everyday to really illustrate what people care about on their mobile device... mine:

    -Evernote
    -Bank
    -Google Maps
    -Calculator
    -Stock Ticker
    -Twitter
    -Facebook

    I would never in a million years download an app from a car dealership.... And I love car dealreships.
     
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