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              Mobile Apps – Why Does Your Business Need One?

By Theresa Colbert

I was reading an article in Forbes magazine* right around the time that Car-Part.com came out with the MyPartsApp for our yards. The article was talking about “being ahead of the game” and “taking marketing to the next level.”

I already had apps on the brain, but the article got me thinking about how we use them. It seems to me that our industry is one that takes a bit of coaxing to embrace technology. Oh, not every customer or every yard – far from it. We have some movers and shakers out there who grab every new electronic device as it comes out. These are the same yards that had computerized inventory systems as soon as they were on the market. I have customers who I have known for years who grabbed domains and eBay names in the late 90s, knowing that someday these “may come in handy.“

On the other end of the spectrum, we still have the yards that use the “I keep it all in my head” technology. Obviously, any industry is going to have both the tech-savvy and the tech-scared; I get that. My fear is that in this day and age, how will customers know where you are? I know that I have asked this question before: when is the last time you opened up a phone book?

The Forbes article went on to say: “If you think that mobile apps are solely for big name brands like Walmart and Bank of America, you are wrong. More and more small and midsize businesses are following the mobile trend, understanding that an effective mobile strategy involves more than just a mobile-friendly website.”

Even those of us with limited technology skills understand the value of websites and apps. I like to call my cell phones my “hand top computers.” When you are on the road as much as I am, your phone becomes an extension of you. I don’t actually use either of mine for making many phone calls. I do so much of my customer contact via text and email – I can actually usually respond quicker from my cell phone than from my computer! I have to say that I am quite surprised at the number of apps I use each day. I have apps for banking, to read books, and to scan VINs into Core Pricing (just to name a few).

One of my favorite apps is the Car-Part.com app. In the 5+ years I have been at Car-Part.com, I have been stopped by strangers at gas stations and at yards because I was wearing a Car-Part.com shirt. They stop me to tell me that they use our website all the time, but really wish that it had images and an app. Now when they stop me I can say, “we have that!” I think we all need to take a look at the things we use every day and ask ourselves if our business would benefit from some of the “new-fangled technology.”

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”
Ben Franklin

Have a great month! As always, if you have any questions for me, please email me at TheresaC@Car-Part.com or call/text my cell at 859-802-2382.

* If you want to look up the article for yourself, it’s titled “Here’s Why Your Business Needs Its Own Mobile App.”

Theresa Colbert is an on-the-ground representative for Car-Part. com. She goes into the dismantling yards and helps the customers decide which of the products in the Car-Part suite best fits their needs. With her background in aftermarket and from working “on the recyclers side of the counter” Theresa is a firm believer in our industry and the value that recycled parts have. With over 23 years of industry experience, she has seen the auto recycling world from almost every point of view. Theresa speaks at industry trade shows, give classes to recyclers and writes a monthly articles for trade publications.

 


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