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.