Commentary

Cars & the Road to Mobile Commerce

Kimberley GardinerThe mobile shopping path is impacting all categories, even cars.

This became even more apparent in the Day 3 keynote presentation at the MediaPost Mobile Insider Summit.

“Mobile enables the consumer connected journey,” said Kimberley Gardiner, national marketing director of Toyota.

Gardiner, who has been with Toyota more than a decade, showed a video portraying the mobile purchasing process of the future, with consumers pointing their camera at ads and billboards to receive additional information on the fly and then creating a coherent multi-screen experience.

When shown to dealers, the overall response from them was ‘I want that,” said Gardiner.

Toyota is working to create tools for dealers, said Kayla Green, digital strategy director of Saatchi and Saatchi LA, on a panel I moderated a day earlier. The idea is to empower consumers and link the information interactively with dealers, to streamline the purchasing cycle.

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Gardiner said the ultimate goal of such an integrated mobile system would be for a consumer to buy a car within an hour, hardly a common experience today, as anyone who has shopped for a car knows.

For millennials, Gardiner said the process of purchasing was important and the focus is to reach consumers where they are.

This could be my means beyond advertising, including NFC-enabled billboards and voice activation in car.

As to the Mobile Shopping Life Cycle, Toyota looks at three key locations to be integrated.

There is the living room element, which may involve smartphone and tablet research, the showroom, though no longer a standalone activity location, and in the driver’s seat, which could involve connected car elements, such as dashboard messaging.

While the car of the future may not be here, the mobile shopping process of buying a car is clearly already on the road.

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