Monday, April 5, 2010

iPad Use Case Idea - Car Sales


Here's another idea for how an iPad could be used: selling cars. Imagine a salesperson approaching a prospective customer on the lot and showing them a short and interesting video (probably not a commercial) and allowing the customer to explore some of the car's specs on the iPad. Each manufacturer could have their own app designed to answer (in an honest way) the most common customer questions. Maybe each app could have a custom racing game that would allow customers to drive through famed stretches of roadway (the Autobahn, Tokyo, Los Angeles freeways, etc.) in the car they're interested in.

I think one big appeal of this idea is that iPad could ease the awkwardness between the salesperson and the customer. Instead of interacting with each other directly, the salesperson and the customer can now use the iPad as a means of interaction, or if nothing else as a conversation starter. Instead of the salesperson being the sole conduit for information (which the customer understandably views as a biased source), now the iPad can serve as a neutral source of information. Perhaps more importantly, whereas in a conventional exchange the customer may feel like they're being given a hard sell from an aggressive salesperson, when interacting with an iPad the customer might feel that they're in control of the experience. The net result is that the iPad puts the customer at ease.

Additionally, at least in the short term, the iPad is a novelty that signals to customers that a given car company is design-minded and "gets it." I'm thinking of companies like Volkswagen or BMW. An iPad-based sales interaction could be a real experience differentiator. Why buy a car the old fashioned way from Toyota when you can buy a car the smart way from Volkswagen?

Images for above mockup from here, here, here, and here.

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