Auto Remarketing reports on the experimentation with the iPad in showrooms.
There seem to be two benefits to an iPad application with data on every vehicle make / model: 1) it allows conversations between prospective buyers and salespeople to proceed smoothly in the showroom without the salesperson traveling back and forth to a computer terminal; 2) it adds a “premium,” tech-savvy feeling to the sales experience that lends credibility to the salesperson and the franchise.
I’d be interested to see how use of tablets in the car sales department evolves and which use cases become common. Based on our experience in the service side of the dealership, new technology tends to stick when it 1) saves time and 2) improves sales closing rates (and probably in that order).
Also worth noting is that if there is any incremental benefit in the sales department, the benefits to service personnel should be obvious. The majority of customers in the service department are presented with additional service recommendations (“upsells”) during each visit. That expectation, combined with the generally negative perception of the auto repair industry, results in a difficult sales context for advisors. An iPad application that helps to show the need for repairs or more broadly educate the customer about service recommendations would be a useful tool.