Dealership Communication ToolsDealership Marketing

What Apple’s New Passbook Means for Your Dealership

I don’t think I’m alone in viewing Apple’s rumored “iWallet” as a game changer.

The first iteration, released Monday, is called Passbook.  The concept’s simple. Right now you use your smartphone for phone calls, web search, directions, reminders – everything.  Just as we slowly eliminated the need for a phone and PDA or a phone and an iPod; the iWallet concept seeks to eliminate your physical wallet.

Let’s examine Apple’s version 1.0 of this concept, Passbook. Passbook is a new app that will be included with the iOS6 software for Apple’s iPhone and iPad.

What does it do? Passbook keeps all of your airline tickets, concert tickets, coupons, and giftcards in one convenient app. Its location based, which means when you arrive at the airport, your iPhone will automatically access your ticket and display it for you. A quick scan at the gate of your iPhone screen and you’re on board.

While you can quickly imagine the benefits for Starbucks, Delta, Target, or other large retailers, I’m here to talk to about your dealership.

In my opinion, Passbook’s effectiveness will really shine with retailers who rely on timing to engage their customer. While customers may go to great lengths of inconvenience to get that morning latte, we don’t typically have that luxury. For dealers, convenience and timing of the message is everything.

For instance, one of the biggest advantages of a dealer mobile app is quick access to inventory. We’ve found customers access dealer inventory more often during the purchase process via a mobile app.  It’s the simple convenience of an icon on their smartphone home screen that constantly reminds, brands, and permits quick access to the information they need. An app isn’t a better way to access inventory, its more convenient and quicker.

image of dealer app coupon map

The same, I believe, holds true for Apple’s Passbook. With Passbook and your dealer mobile app, we have potential to geo-target customers near the dealershipplacing a mobile coupon in their Passbook at just the right time. Geo-targeting doesn’t end at your dealer’s physical location. Imagine targeting your customer while they’re running errands, such as a near-by grocery or hardware store.   How about a targeted message when visiting your competitor?

The end goal of course is a showroom visit. A Passbook coupon or offer is tailor made for in-store redemption. The customer is already in the area at the time of the offer!

Passbook was unveiled Monday, so what I’ve laid out is very much in the experimental phase. It’s just a glimpse into what we at AutoMotion get excited about regarding the future of mobile and the dealer.

Are you excited about the potential behind the new iPhone Passbook?

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    arnoldtijerina
  • June 13, 2012
Great idea and article, Ben! I'm excited to see the opportunities that Passbook brings, personally. 
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    vickioneill
  • June 14, 2012
Great post, Ben! Passbook, as described, will be a game changer for consumers and brands creating a whole new level of mobile engagement. If Passbook for dealers targets in-market shoppers (vs. those just driving by), displays a test drive incentive of the vehicle/s of interest, it will change the car buying experience and create an interesting competitiveness for dealers sharing market space. I will definitely watch how this evolves and the opportunities it creates.
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    emiltsch
  • June 14, 2012
Passbook will be monumental. Apple's biggest secret weapon is the treasure chest of credit card information that already have stored - 400 million individual #'s. They will keep chruning out ways to drive users to in-device/in-app purchases. 
 
They'll stand to make the most form this arrangement regardless if it's their application or 3rd party as they'll get a cut of the proceeds. Huge move by Apple. 
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    emiltsch
  • June 14, 2012
Passbook will be monumental. Apple's biggest secret weapon is the treasure chest of credit card information that already have stored - 400 million individual #'s. They will keep churning out ways to drive users to in-device/in-app purchases. 
 
They'll stand to make the most form this arrangement regardless if it's their application or 3rd party as they'll get a cut of the proceeds. Huge move by Apple. 
 
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    RobFontano
  • June 14, 2012
This is a truly remarkable new level of consumer engagement.
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Sounds slick! Hopefully, when someone does design a way to work with Passbook and shooting out coupons and offers, there's a way customers won't be bombarded everyday when they drive by. While there's a great opportunity there, I'd hate for people to opt out because they're worried about spam everyday they head to work.
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    Tim Lage
  • June 20, 2012
NFC will be the game changer
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    chiphanna1
  • June 26, 2012
I'm working on a Passbook management tool. Let me know if anyone is interested in testing it out with their dealership.
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The Yelp integration in maps for ios 6 is another heads up for dealers to make sure they are getting customers to leave reviews.
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  • July 4, 2012
Passbook will indeed be a game changer.  Although businesses need to think through, not only the technology, but the behavioural changes they'll need to manage to yield the full benefits (for the customer and the business).  Thought you might appreciate our first attempt at using a Passbook Boarding Pass: http://youtu.be/NqLLWh5JoXs
Yeah... no so much.
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