Should Your Dealership Invest in a Mobile App?

mobile app

The vast majority of people today are increasingly connected to the world of digital information “on the go” via smartphones or mobile devices. Over 90% of people own a cellphone of some kind; 77% of those owning a smartphone. Today, mobile applications are the leading form of digital interaction. Consumers are spending over 85% of their time using smartphone applications. Consumers use their mobile applications for shopping, searching, interacting, and purchasing. This is a huge benefit to anyone in the marketing industry.

How could mobile applications be of benefit to the automotive dealership industry? As an automotive dealer, you may think that people enjoy coming out to visit your dealership and browse through the showroom for new car models. However, you are completely wrong! A smartphone is now the preferred method. A recent study found that 70% of mobile users prefer to view a brand or company through a mobile app than in person. This is why the automotive industry is in need of mobile apps now, more than ever! Mobile marketing is taking over the marketing trade and it’s time for the automotive industry to embrace in this great marketing tactic.

Statistics in Mobile Marketing for Automotive Dealerships

Many studies have been conducted to see how much of a benefit mobile applications are to the automotive industry. Should an automotive dealership utilize the mobile application marketing method? Based on the statistics below, we can conclude the answer to question would be; yes, absolutely! Recent studies have found:

  • Customer’s using the company’s mobile app were 73% more likely to make a purchase from the dealership.
  • Customer’s using the application spent more money than non-app users when buying a vehicle. 7% more to be exact.
  • Mobile application users are younger and more willing to spend more money on cars. They have plans to purchase cars that range in price of $20,000-$40,000. This increases revenue for sales for an automotive dealership.
  • 72% of mobile users are more likely to visit the dealerships than shoppers without a mobile application.
  • 51% of auto shoppers use mobile applications to search for payments, offers, prices, and inventory.
  • Ebay sells more than 13,000 cars weekly through its mobile app. That average out to more than 650,000 cars a year!

Benefits of Mobile Marketing for Automotive Dealerships

The key to benefit in the sales industry is to evolve and stay current with the fast-paced times. Mobile marketing has hit the charts as one of the essential marketing strategies today. It is the key to the future. Research has found that 4 out of 5 consumers use smartphone apps to shop. Out of the business’ that don’t use mobile apps currently, 78% plan to invest in mobile applications this year.

Based on the numbers and statistics, it is extremely important for business’ to engage in on this sales tactic. For automotive dealerships, they need to catch up or risk losing millions of dollars per year.

Below we will discuss some of the great benefits that an automotive dealership can expect from mobile application engagement.

Help Boost Sales

Most people wonder how an automotive dealership would benefit from a mobile application and not many people would buy a car through an app. However, having a mobile app actually will help to increase your sales considerably. One of the main reasons why it can help boost sales is because of notifications, and the ability to communicate with customers directly. Using the app, auto dealerships can send specific information about new cars and services right to people within the area. They can provide them with information on special promotions and offers that are coming up. Push notifications are an option where the information pops right up on their phone. Studies found that there is a 26% increase in opening up a mobile app when push notifications are active.

In a recent survey of 1500 people, 72% of those people claimed to use their devices mobile app in their car purchasing process. Of the people 52% said they use their mobile app when looking for a new part and 29% claimed using their mobile app when looking at customer reviews.  

If there is no application for your automotive dealership, these statistics could not be possible. Mobile marketing is taking over every industry and it is time for the automotive industry to embrace on this marketing strategy as well!

Provide customers with knowledge

With such a large group of people engaging in mobile devices today, this is a great way for a business to get in direct contact with an audience. As mentioned above, push notifications are a huge benefit to an automotive dealership and beats having to send out a flyer to each individual address.

Mobile Payments

Mobile payments are becoming increasingly popular. Rather than having to go into a store, people prefer paying right from their phone. Since 2015, mobile payment percentages through apps have gone up by 36%. This number continues to rise.

For an automotive industry, offering mobile payments through an app could be a huge advantage. Customers could pay for parts, services, or even their car payments right through the app. When the process for customers is easy, they are more likely to be satisfied and return.

Booking Service & Test Drive Appointments

Through a mobile application, auto dealerships can provide a way to schedule test drives or service appointments right online! This is not only less hassle for your staff but also the customer. Customers don’t have to worry about calling during the working business and finding a time to book an appointment. They can do it on their own time and look through the calendar to see when an appointment is available. Research shows that 35% of customer’s want to schedule appointments during non-business hours and 25% of those under the age of 35 will only book appointments using their mobile.

Mobile Applications: How to Get Started?

One of the most important steps that you could take for promoting your automotive business is to invest in an app for your dealership. According to research, apps take up 80% of the time a user spends on their phone. Many vendors can help you take advantage of this high mobile app usage and brand your company like never before.

To get started in developing a mobile application, there are some things you have to take into consideration. To start, who are you going to hire to develop your mobile application? There are a ton of application developer vendors that can help you out. Below is a list of the top 10 Mobile App Development Companies for 2017:

  1. WillowTree, Inc.
  2. Intellectsoft
  3. Dom & Tom
  4. Y Media Labs
  5. Appster
  6. Zco
  7. Five
  8. MentorMate
  9. Intuz
  10. Experion Technologies

Next, you have to determine what features should be incorporated into your app. Some important features that should be included in your app include:

  • Dealership location
  • Catalogue of cars
  • Search bar
  • User/video reviews of cars
  • Car pricing
  • News for the automotive industry
  • Buy/sell car accessories
  • Buy cars
  • Sell cars
  • Car features
  • Used car list/pricing
  • Automotive technical specifications
  • Social media sharing

It is important that your app provides two things:

  1. Functionality: It is important to ensure that the functionality of the app is useful to its users. The app should provide the basic functions and features (listed above). The app should allow users to search and sort through the cars.
  2. Special Features: It is equally as important to include special features in addition to the basic features. You want the app to stand out amongst other automotive dealership apps. For example, a special feature could include booking an appointment right on the app, or having the option to chat right online.


As you can see based on this article, engaging in a mobile app in the automotive industry is of extreme benefit. Mobile technology is the key to the future. It is better to start sooner than later and stay on top of this marketing tactic!