Automotive Marketing Professional Community for Car Dealers, OEM and Suppliers
Does anyone have some feedback on a company that can create a custom iPhone app for a dealer group that allows people to book a service appointment, browse their inventory, apply for financing, etc.?
They have a dozen stores so the app would need to accomodate routing to each store properly.
I see many companies advertising iPhone apps but I wanted to get feedback from ADM members who have them up and running.
I am also interested to see if these iPad apps have helped increase online service appoint setting.
Well, unless you are teamed up with www.specialtymobileapps.com, then they do all the heavy lifting with new devices and systems. Finding a company that "future proofs" the dealers investment is the key!
Does a mobile site work without internet connectivity...NO! Does and app? Yes
Do mobile sites download quickly to flash and other features? ...No! Does an app? Yes!
Over 59 billion apps developed since conception of the smart phone- The key is...Find a company that has built an app for dealers, by dealers!
As always...You get what you pay for!
For the world's only fully customizable, changeable, most robust dealer platform- visit www.specialtymobileapps.com
Jeff I'd like to see some of your usage stats for some of your dealer apps. That would as they say "seal the deal" and make me more of an app believer.
Also, I have to ask about what type of app functionality would a car dealer use that would work without mobile connectivity and help them with selling their products and services?
I just read your article, regarding the cost of App you really must visit this page. http://mobileapploader.com/myApp/AppsCategories1.aspx?tag=Automotive
Regarding functionality there is a comparison table on that page. Also if you would like to see some really data about iPhone Apps visit this page or give us a call 408 844 4696
Completely agree with Matt and Aloysius - mobile websites (with SMS alerts) are a much better solution that an app (with permitted notifications). The App-economy may only last another couple years until 4G makes the bandwidth worries of HTML5 obsolete. Furthermore:
1) One compelling reason for downloading dealers' Apps (and using them) is coupons. Dealers who offer coupons through their Apps are more likely to hold their customers' interest.
2) The best way to keep in touch with customers is by sending them Notifications with coupons and special announcements. This can't be done with WebApps.
To see an example, download the "Don Ayers Honda" App and check out the latest notifications they have sent. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/don-ayres-honda/id379503839?mt=8
While reading your post, Stan, I concluded you have a BlackBerry; please correct me if I'm wrong.
Zvika @ www.MobileAppLoader.com
You are right why use a smart phone with a nice colorful screen when you can reduce the experience to the bare minimum of text messages of the previous decade. You can also email coupons or use snail mail or have have them print it out.
Bottom line - Apps the absolutely the BEST user experience to deliver coupons.
Again, show me the stats. I know the coupn eongagement from text (and it i s very good), what is it for apps and is it any higher? If it is a better performer, I'll bow to the data.
Zvika - coupons are great but to suggest Apps are the only (best?) channel for delivery seems disingenuous at best. You could argue for the minority of your customers that have smartphones they are the best way to organize coupons, but again anything you can do with Apps you can do with HTML5 - create a 'my car page' on a mobile friendly website which is also more tightly integrated to your vehicle data which I doubt you can do with a simple, self-service app.
The question is not will some customers use apps - yes, some will. Just like 2% of your customers are active with Twitter - but that doesn't mean it is the most effective channel for communication and it doesn't necessary justify the time, energy and expense that go into that as opposed to focusing your resources on what really works and is being used daily by a vast majority of your guests.
And FYI - I've been an iPhone user for years. I've downloaded lots of apps and, like every user I rarely, if ever, use any of them but the default tools (Maps, Contacts, etc.), Yelp and Yahoo! Sportacular. I don't think all apps are bad - there just has to be a really compelling reason for an app vs. a website and organizing coupons isn't compelling enough for the automotive vertical. I even have my own App pending approval by Apple (www.mobully.com) for wait list and reservation management for restaurants (get rid of the pager system, host texts you from iPad when your table is ready and hopefully opts you into ongoing retention marketing like coupons) but nearly every thing we do there we deliver with a SaaS version that an iPad user could access via a browser so we are not even going to bother developing a Android version. The App version is more to capitalize on the iPad hype and not the App functionality.
My point is very simple and straight forward. Provide the best user experience and let the user decide how to consume the content.
Bottom line for $10-$20 a month a dealership can offer great iPhone experience for the users that choose to connect via the App.
I could write a long email about the ROI and use cases but we made the price of an App so affordable to make it no brainer.