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More Shoppers Use Apps Than QR Codes

app2cardDMEautomotive released new survey findings on how - and how much - auto service customers are interacting with QR codes and mobile apps.

The data also reveals which content and functionality customers most desire from a service center offering. With roughly half of all Americans now toting a smartphone, mobile marketing by dealerships and auto service providers is rightfully surging. And DME's findings reveal some significant mobile marketing opportunities for the service industry, particularly with their customers' high, overall rates of mobile app usage (44 provider), but with relatively few of them now using a dealer or service provider app (10 percent).

Findings are based on a national survey of more than 2,000 U.S. vehicle owners conducted by DMEa's Strategy & Analytics division.

Less than a fifth of service customers have scanned a QR code.

More than twice as many service customers (44 percent) use mobile apps than scan QR codes (18 percent). And that app usage number jumps to 74 percent for the 18-34 demographic. Furthermore, service customers using apps use them intensely, with 2 in 3 turning to them at least once daily. This is good news for service businesses because, compared to QR Codes, which are, by nature, scan and go, mobile apps enable them to forge daily, always-there customer connections.

Despite the fact that nearly half of all service customers are now app users (a figure that will grow explosively), only 10 percent of survey respondents reported that they currently have a dealer/service provider app.

And these 1-in-10 service customers that now use a dealer/service center app reported on how they most interact with it. This data, shining some light on what features they find most useful, provides one window into what service app providers should most include in their offerings.

For service-app-using customers, the functions that they interact with the most (coupons, dealer incentives, service reminders, etc.) - and the least (general car model/maintenance/financing info, or connecting to provider's website) - again clearly illustrate that consumers demand real, tangible value, and actionable info and tools that make their lives easier.

The "wish list" of the app-less 90 percent of service customers provides an even more accurate window into the features consumers most desire in a service provider app. The top five are: 1) coupons, 2) online appointment scheduling, 3) service reminders, 4) recall alerts and 5) vehicle maintenance histories.

Also note: many of the most-wanted features (i.e., service reminders, vehicle