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Car Dealers Using Apps to Connect with Buyers

Car Dealers Using Apps to Connect with BuyerseMarketer estimates there will be 30.9 million smartphone users in the country in 2013, representing 48.4% of UK residents and 60.4% of UK mobile phone users.  There are many great Smartphone apps available today that truly engage car buyers, car enthusiasts, vehicle owners, car dealers and automotive industry professionals.  Apps are being used as more and more car manufacturers look for ways to improve communication with owners and potential customers, as well as to attract brand fans and car enthusiasts.

The race is on. Smartphone apps are being developed at supersonic speed by manufacturers, some examples include:

  • Mercedes Benz provides unique insider information to reveal a whole new look at each model. With numerous interactive features, our new apps are the only way to get closer to the cars without actually getting behind the wheel.
  • Rolls-Royce offer their Ghost App which allows users to interact with their car and configure their ideal Ghost specification. This approach engages Rolls-Royce with a new type of customer while creating a fantastic PR opportunity.
  • Toyota now has an app allowing customers to get the latest Toyota info, live Twitter feeds and the ability to find the nearest Toyota dealership, which is perfect when traveling.
  • Ford has incorporated “AppLink” with their Sync system. Sync is an in-car connectivity platform that allows drivers to make hands-free calls, control music and other functions with simple voice commands.
  • The Chrysler Group  has new apps for Android, Blackberry, and iPhone platforms for some 2011 models. They provide vehicle operation, maintenance and warranty information, as well as product feature video demonstrations, connections with fellow owners via the company’s brands on social media sites, access to customer care and 24-hour road-side assistance and other features depending upon the model.

For used car dealers, mobile apps can offer similar benefits.  Firstly dealers can simply replicate the core services of their existing website.  A car dealer can immediately increase stock exposure by simply allowing people to access their cars via an App.  Not only can users access all the images related to a particular used car, they can also view any videos, get directions and call the dealer within seconds with the simple press of a button.  Updates are pushed to the Smartphone via the application making it easy for car dealers to provide the .latest and greatest vehicles they have for sale.

A difficult decision is often whether to go for paid for or free.  The decision of whether to charge for an App depends on its content.  As a hard and fast rule, ask yourself if you would be prepared to pay for the App yourself and whether the biggest revenue generation is in the selling of the App or the selling of your core product or service.  One dealer offering a free app for direct access to its range of used cars is Eddie Wright, for its car supermarket in Scunthorpe.

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