Ford pilots beacon geolocation technology program to woo buyers
The automaker will be attaching devices to feature models to broadcast information to customer smartphones.
Ford dealerships could soon have a new way of making sure that customers visiting showrooms will learn about the hottest features associated with certain models as the company pilots a geolocation technology based marketing program.
This would send key info about a model directly to a consumer’s smartphone as he or she approaches it.
The hope is that this geolocation technology will help to make it easier to close a sale. The consumer will receive information only about the models that have caught his or her attention, as the tech sends the information about the models that the potential buyer has approached, as he or she walks around the vehicle. It is as though the vehicle will be able to give its own sales pitch, regardless of whether or not an associate is present at that specific moment.
The geolocation technology will allow customers to enjoy a more independent sales process.
Many consumers do the majority of their research online, using an automaker’s website to be able to learn about the features, options, and pricing of a vehicle. Actually visiting a showroom floor is essentially at the very end of the purchasing cycle, when the consumer is quite close to making a final decision.
This indicates that consumers are more interested in finding out a large portion of the information about various vehicle models on their own, and that an actual sales associate at a dealership has a notably smaller window of time in which to close a sale.
The Ford.com digital manager, global and mobile, Trisha Habucke, pointed out that “Even five or six years ago, people would actually go to the dealer four or five times (before making a purchase). Now they’re doing so much research independently that when they get to the dealership they don’t want to start over, they want to continue on and get their pricing and get their ‛why buys’ right there. And sometimes they want to do that independently,” ahead of actually speaking with one of the dealerships sales team.
The geolocation technology marketing is meant to help consumers to do that, so that they can still inform themselves in the way and timing that they prefer.