Roseville Toyota Increases Engagement With Ever Increasing Mobile Customer Base
With U.S. Smartphone users now totaling 95.8 million according to CTIA, Roseville Toyota’s Internet Director, John Roth, wanted to bring his dealership to where the customers are. “People are changing their method of connection. If you’re not ready for the change you’re going to lose that business,” stated Roth, “If you think people are going to look at your dealership from their home computer you’re wrong.”
Recent reports by mobile analytics company, Flurry, emphasized why Roseville put a priority on targeting mobile users:
- Smartphone households earn $22k more than the average U.S. household.
- 61% of mobile app users have a bachelor degree or higher.
- The largest percentages of Smartphone users are between the ages of 18-24 and 35-44 years of age.
- The average Smartphone user spends 9% more time using mobile apps than the Internet.
Roseville implemented a mobile website to establish a presence in the mobile market, but the dealership wanted to implement a tool that would better maintain relationships with their customers post-sale. Roth implemented an app because it is “sticky” compared to a mobile website. Changing consumer behavior during the product research stage also influenced him. He expressed, “In the next 12-18 months 25% of customers will view dealership websites from a mobile site or mobile app.”
Once a purchase is made, Roseville encourages customers to download the dealership’s app to their mobile device “sticking” the app to the home screen of customers’ phone. Roth constantly modifies the app to adapt to customers’ needs. Some of these features include roadside assistance, service scheduling, and coupons.
Service As Front End
During a discussion of leveraging apps for the fixed operations side, Roth stated, “It is about selling cars, but I believe we’re experiencing a paradigm shift in our business.” He continued, “The front end of our business is service. If you can create a great app that causes people to come back (i.e. features such as roadside assistance, service scheduling, coupons) then you are building the relationship with the customer right up front.” Roth modifies Roseville’s app on a regular basis in order to provide customers convenience and incentives.
Roth didn’t want to just create a new lead generator. He wanted to create a mobile presence that added long-term value to the customer/dealer relationship. A mobile app creates this value because if it’s a quality app customers have reason to keep it on their phone which is one of their most personal devices.
The app allows the customer to interact with your brand on several levels during several occasions, on the go or at home, catering to their automotive needs. Roth explains, “Its not just about the purchasing process. I don’t want them to buy a car at our dealership and then forget about us,” he continued, “If you can make the customer loyal to the brand AND you as a dealership, you’ve got another car sale.”
Enhanced Product Interaction
Roseville believes their app provides an overall better purchasing experience. The app is a tool that displays inventory in a manner that utilizes the latest technology – an enhanced interactive experience today’s consumer desires. “People are visual, they don’t like to talk numbers,” said Roth. He added, “An app allows the customer to interact with the product through video and images – a much more personal experience.”
Roth’s experiment with mobile apps has paid off. “We knew in order to be successful with our app we had to develop a strategy and keep working with it.”
The results speak for themselves. While total traffic on Roseville’s traditional site rose only 37%, mobile traffic rose 358% after the addition of the Roseville Toyota app. Roth summarized, “The app was the only major change we made during this period to our mobile strategy and after seeing these types of results I believe a mobile app is exactly what we need in this industry.”
What’s next for Roseville Toyota?
Leveraging the push notifications feature on their mobile app. Roth plans to use push notifications to reengage customers and bring them back to the dealership through specific targeted messages. Notifying customers that new inventory has arrived, sending coupons for service discounts, and offering incentives for visiting the dealership are just some of the ways Roth plans to engage with customers through push notifications on the Roseville Toyota app.