How Developing a Mobile App can Help Grow your Automotive Business?

July 25, 2022

By: John Tomblin, Senior Solutions Architect
GlendaleBizz a division of Sofvue, LLC
Printed with permission of Data Titan, Sofvue, LLC and the author

The automotive sector has always been customer-centric, but the rise of automation and big data over the past 20 years has put customer-centric systems on steroids. Mobile apps are playing a massive role in this transformation, and we’re speaking from first-hand experience with three recently completed projects for small, mid-sized and large automotive companies. Mobile Apps can be used in multiple ways to grow your automotive business, from providing mobile solutions for consumers, dealerships, service departments, and even lenders who provide automotive financing products.   

Let’s look at a few ways you might consider investing in mobile apps for your automotive business.

1- Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is an essential aspect of business. Mobile apps are critical for improving the customer experience and strengthening trust, sales, sales retention, for your automotive business.

Given the recent supply-chain, chip manufacturing issues and inflation factors impacting both new and used car sales, customers have many choices when buying a car or truck. They can go online, work with independent dealerships, buy a vehicle from Carvana or e-Bay Motors, or use a third-party used car mobile app.

But suppose you have a mobile app that makes it easy for customers to research vehicles and see financing options or even get in touch with their local dealership. By giving your dealership an app-based presence, you'll be able to provide potential car buyers with exactly what they need. For instance, information about purchasing vehicles at your location, but in addition, showing the required down payment and monthly payment, especially for dealerships that offer “fixed”, non-negotiable pricing options.

2- Improve your business reputation

Mobile apps help enhance your overall brand reputation. For instance, you can reach out to customers to solicit information that helps you understand their expectations and budget. You can then send personalized vehicle recommendations that fit their needs, and in today’s crazy hyperinflationary cycles, that has become vital.

You can also offer customer service support and sales through your app, allowing customers the ability to schedule service and maintenance appointments, as well as payment options so they can pay-n-go right while their vehicle is being prepped for pick-up.  Your app might also solicit customer feedback to help you better understand their customer experience, what you can do better, and how to create return-visit loyalty.

3- Lead Generation

Mobile apps can be a great way to collect leads. When a car buyer is browsing inventory from your app, you can create a registration process allowing the car buyer to create a profile, then allowing the mobile app to automatically send personalized emails to the buyer detailing specific vehicles they might be interested in, and then using custom algorithms, send the car buyer specialized offers based on their past visitor history, in a somewhat similar way to how advertisers display adds on websites you visit based on your browser history.  Even if a customer isn’t interested in buying today, you can reach them at various stages, but most importantly, maintaining the all important front-of-mind position.

4- Brand Awareness

Mobile apps can help you build your brand awareness and loyalty, which in turn will increase customer retention and satisfaction. There are many ways to achieve this result, from vehicle maintenance and support, to new and used car sales.

5- Reduce Paperwork

Car dealerships and service departments notoriously have volumes of paperwork. However, with a mobile app, you can process and store documents digitally. And once moving toward a digital framework, mistakes and redundant processes can be reduced significantly, and in other cases, completely.  

6- Build Loyalty with customers and employees

Mobile apps are also used to build loyalty with customers and employees. For instance, you can give them access to helpful information about your business, like directions and hours of operation, a list of upcoming events, or even the ability to check prices or book appointments from the app.

You can even use the mobile app to create an employee directory that includes the name and position for each employee in the company, including their name, photo, location within the company (i.e., department), what they do, etc. For more sophisticated platforms, you can even provide scheduling services allowing employees to see their work schedule on the company’s mobile app.

7- Help Customers with Vehicle Servicing

Fifty years ago, a dealerships profit was based on volume car sales, both new and used. Today, that is no longer the case for many dealerships since the vehicle manufacturers have established much greater control over what a vehicle should and can be sold for. So, if car sales are no longer the carrot, how do dealerships make money? Answer:  Service Departments.  Vehicle servicing, tune-up, vehicle engine repairs and maintenance packages are, today, how dealerships produce their revenue. With the right app, customers can view service hours, costs for basic service and repair, purchase maintenance and service plans, book appointments and even request their “favorite” service technician.

Must-Have Features for Your Automotive Mobile Apps

Now that you have more information about the benefits of having a mobile app, let’s talk about key features you should consider.

Vehicle Inventory: Show customers your vehicle inventory, both NEW and USED.

Vehicle Information: Include pricing and features.

EMI Calculator: Consumers don’t buy cars… they buy payments.  Providing an Equated Monthly Instalment (EMI) calculator gives potential buyers a tool they can use to fidget with down-payments and pricing, this so they can establish how much payment they are willing to accept, and given today’s current marketplace, this tool is a must.

Advanced Search: Your app should allow customers to search vehicles and filter the models effortlessly.

Online Booking: Allowing users to book a test drive, create after-sales maintenance schedules, etc.   

Live Chat: Let customers talk with onsite sales representatives to answer questions before driving to the dealership to test drive a vehicle. This helps foster trust and loyalty.


Dealerships who choose to invest in mobile apps understand the value of providing the best possible customer experience. Not only will they reach more customers, providing a mobile solution platform can go a long way in building long-lasting relationships with a customer base, while simultaneously improving speed and delivery of services provided by your dealership.

The GlendaleBizz team has been developing custom web-based applications, Apple and Android mobile apps, custom databases, MVP’s, prototypes and custom databases since 2004. That equates to over $22MM in custom designed and developed solutions for companies across the United States.  To learn more, call our Glendale office at 623-845-2747.

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