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Infiniti personalizes car buying via app bridging dealership, online experiences

Car buyers who research Infiniti vehicles prior to entering dealerships are getting a more personalized shopping experience with the sales staff following the launch of a new tablet application by the automaker.

Nissan’s luxury brand Infiniti is equipping dealership sales staff with a tablet app to enhance the buying experience for customers by pulling up their search history on the Infiniti Web site. The app is giving dealership employees the tools to individualize the customer’s search for a new vehicle, which is vital as dealership locations is the most critical stage of a car buying process.

“Infiniti has always been on the forefront of customer-service initiatives in the automotive industry, and our Total Ownership Experience has been a hallmark of the brand since its inception in 1989,” said Kyle Bazemore senior manager of communications at Infiniti USA. “For instance, the now common practice of a service-loan car was pioneered by Infiniti.

“We not only build cars that drivers want to take on an endless road, hence our name of Infiniti and a logo that represents that never-ending road, but also we want to have a never-ending relationship with our owners,” he said. “We know that buying a car can be an exciting experience, but there are also lots of pain points along the way that customers do not appreciate.

“In addition, customer satisfaction also decreases as the time it takes to complete the purchase process increases. Therefore, the ICAR-X is designed to eliminate the inefficiencies in the process, and make it a more personal experience for our buyers. We benchmarked the best practices of not only the automotive industry, but also luxury, high-end retailers on the best ways to treat our potential owners.”

Omnichannel shopping
The experience at a dealership location can make or break sales for vehicle retailers. Consumers do an extensive amount of research prior to purchasing a new car, and an omnichannel shopping experience is key to finalizing the sale.

While on the lot, if interested shoppers have a negative experience, this can deter them form purchasing. The car-buying process is a considerable purchase for most consumers, and is typically carefully thought out.

Many consumers research online or through mobile prior to entering a dealership lot. These potential buyers are previously equipped with an overload of information, and it is important for salesmen to tap into that knowledge or customer interest.

Employees with the Icar-X app are able to view the consumers’ past search history on the Infinity Web site and better showcase vehicles that are of the individual’s interest. This removes redundancies that can cause a frustrating shopping experience for customers.

An individual shopping for a car will usually have to repeat their interests over and over, and the app eliminates the need to do so. Also, the longer the shopper spends at a dealership, the more frustrated they become and the tablet app cuts down shopping time as well.

The app also always employees to input the customers credit information to receive a quote in real-time and view financing and leasing options, removing the time consuming aspects of having to travel to various locations within a dealership. It also gives salesmen the option of entering in a checklist of all the features the customer would like, while still out on the lot.

Owners of Infiniti vehicles can then enroll in the digital service that instantly sets up Infiniti Connection, the mobile app, which updates owners on vehicle alerts and various information and Infiniti Personal Assistant, an app connecting drivers with professionals for any need at anytime.

Nissan on the move
Nissan is no stranger to mobile innovation. Recently the vehicle manufacturer drove customized, local car-shopping experiences via a native ad on Huffington Post that made it easy for readers to build their desired vehicle configuration and get a quote from a nearby dealer (see more).

The manufacturer also showcased the 2015 Altima sedan and took its interactive social media strategy to the next level following the success of last year’s scavenger hunt by posting clues on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram that ask guests to find a hidden vehicle and offer the chance to win a 2015 Nissan Altima (see more).

“Mobile is very important, as buyers are able to interact with Infiniti at any time with their smart phones and tablets,” Mr. Bazemore said. “While ICAR-X is exclusive for Infiniti retailers and not necessarily designed to be used by the buyers themselves, the external and internal systems synch so that our retailers can see what Infiniti vehicles the buyers are interested in by what is saved on their mobile applications, streamlining the process and making it more efficient.”

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily