Bring the Power of Real-Time Customer Tracking to Your Dealership Floor
We’ve had GPS technology for a while now, enabling the customer to locate dealers conveniently, while being virtually anywhere (provided they have WiFi or cellular service). But while that technology is good for general direction-finding and location services, it’s limited to broader searches. One of the missing ingredients has been micro-location technology. For example, you can find a dealership on GPS but you cannot find cars within the dealership. Micro-location technology allows you to build a map within your dealership and provide exact location of inventory, down to a specific vehicle.
In September 2013, Apple launched iBeacon technology to enable micro-location information. This is just one platform of this exciting emerging technology becoming available to dealers and consumers alike.
Digital business leader Jagdeep Singh has been tracking how this technology can bridge the gap between online and physical interaction with customers. A great advantage of this emerging technology, says Singh, is its ability to offer online-like analytics while face-to-face with customers.
Singh says this technology is compatible with recent Apple and Android devices, including iPhone, iPod, iPad and iPad mini. Already, he estimates that approximately 200 million Apple devices currently support this technology (iPhone 4S and later, iPad 3rd generation and later, all iPad minis, iPod Touch 5th generation and Android 4.3 and later).
It’s one of those rare technologies that provides an equal benefit to the consumer as well as the salesperson. It greatly enhances the customer’s shopping experience, with instant information beyond showroom literature and the salesperson’s immediate knowledge, and it continues to make the cell phone one of your strongest sales and tracking tools.
Here’s how it works. Small battery-operated low energy transmitters can be placed inside the glove compartments of vehicles in the showroom. When a customer passes by the car, the new iPhone or Android phone will pick up the signal and display the information specific to that car. In addition to the information sheet on the vehicle’s window, more information can also be presented in a much more interactive fashion in any combination of text, audio or video, on the shopper’s digital device.
These customers are gaining additional information about each vehicle they visit. And in turn, the dealership can collect analytics about the attention each vehicle receives. It’s like having VDP results in real time, right in the showroom. “The analytics can be captured at the aggregate level and hourly, daily, weekly or monthly reporting can be generated analyzing customer interaction on the dealership floor similar to analytics captured by online stores like Amazon,” says Singh.[box]Singh will show industry professionals how they can harness the immediate power of micro-location technology as well as the future benefits it may hold, at the 16th Digital Dealer Conference & Exposition May 6-8, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[/box]