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Internet of Things: The auto industry revolution

Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 08:00
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As technology advances, the Internet of Things (IoT) is infiltrating almost every aspect of our lives. And with an estimated 250 million cars to be connected to the Internet by 2020, it’s also overtaking the automotive industry.

Increasingly, consumers are looking for connectivity as part of their vehicle’s features – putting IoT at the center of automobile innovation. From self-driving vehicles to the insertion of tech companies into manufacturing, IoT has a bright future in the auto industry.

In addition to modernizing the vehicle manufacturing process, IoT will also affect dealerships and sales departments. To get you ready, here are four ways to prepare both customers and your sales staff for IoT.

1. Say hello to new competitors

Automobile manufacturers are now competing against tech companies, like Apple and Google, where they’re working on auto prototypes of their own. With that in mind, automakers will need to create a plan of attack to ensure dealers and end customers maintain access to the latest in IoT technology. So, how do they do that?

For starters, they’ll need to move beyond traditional car features and think like tech companies. Adding new connectivity features and IoT technology will be the only way to keep up with these new demands.

2. Evaluate and expand your protection plans

With auto technology evolving, it’s a good time to evaluate current warranty coverage options and how to expand offerings to include protection for new IoT inclusions. Most salespeople already know the value of protection, including satisfied customers and a second revenue opportunity. But these new IoT bells and whistles will come with unexpected manufacturer defects, unanticipated damages, and everyday user errors, creating the need for updated warranty solutions.

3. Take a deep dive into data

More connectivity means more data. So, what’s the real importance of more data? More data helps warranty providers customize protection plans to the specific driving habits of their customers. Plus, as IoT expands, customer data risks increase simply due to increased access. As a result, data protection plans aren’t just for tech companies or cellular carriers anymore. They’re something the auto industry needs to keep top of mind.

4. Open arms to supplementary revenue opportunities

When a customer buys a new smartphone, they don’t stop there. They’ll purchase a case, a screen protector, apps and data to complete their mobile experience. And as soon as they start downloading apps and surfing the web, they're inundated with countless ads and promotions.

You can expect the same in new connected cars. When purchasing an IoT-enabled car, the sales cycle is just the beginning, with in-car entertainment systems providing an additional revenue source as they are leveraged for ads and promotions.

Bonus: Hit the web to sell more vehicles

With all of this talk of connectivity, let’s not forget about online shopping. Quickly gaining traction as a major component of the auto purchase experience, it’s predicted that 100 percent of vehicle sales will take place via the Internet by 2025, less than a decade from now! Don't let the Internet do in your business. Stay ahead of the curve by employing and leveraging online sales.

It's an exciting time for auto dealers. With innovation around every corner and the implementation of the latest tech, endless opportunities await. Stay ahead of upcoming changes and continue to grow sales by being an early IoT adopter.

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