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.
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 dealership – placing 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?