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In-store tech to take your dealership to the next level

By Colleen Malloy

Colleen Malloy BlogEmbracing the Dealership of the Future

Twenty years ago, your dealership probably looked and ran much differently than it does today. What will it look like 20 years from now or for that matter two years from now? The pace at which the technology-enabled, omni-channel shopping experience evolves only continues to quicken.

While staying on top of technology trends isn’t likely the first thing you’re thinking about when you get out of bed in the morning, that’s exactly what we at ARI do each and every day.

One of the ongoing discussions we have is about what the in-store experience at the Dealership of the Future might look like, and after sketching out some potential scenarios, we’ve developed a few prototype experiences that we hope will spark inspiration with dealers like you. Read on to learn what some of your in-store interactions might look like in the near future or visit us at AIMExpo booth 1401 to tour our Dealership of the Future experience.

Your Dealership’s App

According to Google, the average consumer spends 127 minutes per day in mobile apps. By creating an app for your dealership, you can reach them where they’re spending the most time – on their mobile devices.

From making it easier for your customers to research your inventory with a personalized experience that lets customers build out inventory watch lists to the ability for you to offer location-based deals and push-notifications, having an app branded for your dealership offer shoppers an opportunity to stay engaged with you even when they aren’t actively shopping for your products and services.

You may be asking yourself, “Isn’t my mobile-optimized website good enough?” That’s a question you’ll have to answer for yourself, but imagine if you had the ability to send out special deals just to the customers driving by your dealership this Saturday.

Beacon Technology

Beacons use Bluetooth low-energy technology to communicate with nearby mobile devices by piggy-backing off of other third-party apps like online review sites and maps. You can use beacon technology to:

  • Send coupons and other offers to shoppers while they are literally standing in your dealership. Example: If they are browsing for oil filters and spark plugs, connect them with 20-percent-off service.
  • Show online ads to people who have visited your store and track in-store visitor information.
  • Create an engaging customer experience. Example: Reward shoppers with mystery prizes for shopping in-store.

Parts Bar

Want to offer an unlimited selection of OEM replacement parts and aftermarket PG&A in-store? You’ve likely had the frustrating experience where a customer whips out his phone and starts to augment his in-store shopping experience with the content of one of your biggest online competitors. You’ll never be able to stock every size, color and model available, but what if you could make it far easier for shoppers to stay within the confines of your dealership’s shopping experience? Imagine an Apple store like kiosk where you can direct customers to shop your in-store and special order inventory refining their search by their specific unit fitment details and their personal apparel sizing. If you’ve got the product in-stock, you can easily pull it out of inventory and send the shopper on his merry way, but if you don’t, your parts bar experience can make it very easy for the shoppers to special order exactly what they're looking for.

With today’s shoppers using technology more than ever to research products and make purchasing decisions, using in-store tech can set you ahead of the curve, help you enhance your customer’s shopping experience and drive more sales.

Attending AIMExpo? Stop by Booth 1401 to see all of these experiences in action at ARI’s Dealership of the Future.

Colleen Malloy is ARI’s director of marketing. Malloy has more than a decade of experience in the powersports industry and previously served as the editor of Motorcycle & Powersports News. ARI creates award-winning software solutions that help equipment manufacturers, distributors and dealers Sell More Stuff! — online and in-store. ARI removes the complexity of selling and servicing new and used inventory, parts, garments and accessories for customers in automotive tire and wheel, powersports, outdoor power equipment, marine, RV and white goods industries. More than 22,000 equipment dealers, 195 distributors and 140 manufacturers worldwide leverage ARI’s website and eCatalog platforms to Sell More Stuff!

Email: colleen.malloy@arinet.com

Phone: 414/973-4323

Website: arinet.com

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