Sparking Success for Automaker Apps

July 22, 2020
Sparking Success for Automaker Apps

Smartphones have completely changed the way we live our lives, from the way we work to the way we spend our leisure time and everything in between. Even the way we use our vehicles and drive revolves around our mobile experience.

When most consumers hear the phrase “connected car,” they immediately reach for their smart devices thanks to the “share of mind” advantage major tech developers have built in the space. For some time, vehicle owners have enjoyed the connected car experience almost solely through offerings like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay—native, user-friendly apps that connect a device they hold every day with one they drive every day.

As a result, automakers have faced significant challenges trying to carve their own lane in the in-vehicle app space—a huge potential revenue stream for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). A recent report released by the Escalent automotive and technology teams demonstrates just what an uphill battle automakers face when working to inspire adoption of their proprietary connected car products.

The results of Meet the Connected Car Concierge: How Automakers Can Delight Consumers & Win found that:

  • 80% of drivers don’t use automakers’ proprietary apps
  • 56% of drivers don’t know about OEM connected car offerings
  • 27% don’t see value in using them

These stark numbers highlight a major area of concern for companies whose earnings are rapidly diversifying as the world of the automobile shifts toward the world of mobility. Establishing a beachhead in the connected car arena is critical to preserving a number of these less traditional revenue streams.

Where OEM Apps Can Find a Niche

There are huge areas of opportunity for automakers to make the most of the data and information that can be collected by or about the vehicle. The study’s findings reveal there is significant consumer appetite for features that make their trips safer, easier and more efficient—areas where OEMs can make inroads thanks to proprietary vehicle information.

Consumers ranked the features listed below by importance:

  • Personal security and anti-theft (71%)
  • Navigation and traffic information (61%)
  • Vehicle health and maintenance information (56% and 50%, respectively)
  • Advanced driving assistance systems (47%)

By creating solutions that seamlessly integrate with in-vehicle safety, security, anti-theft, maintenance and autonomy systems, OEMs can begin to demonstrate unique benefits to drivers and make a dent in the lead the tech giants have built through the ubiquity of their devices. However, what will be truly game changing for automakers is to craft and position their connected car offerings as niche ‘concierge’ services that enhance journeys and improve experiences.

To read more about how OEMs can close the gap with big tech companies and stimulate increased adoption and usage, download Meet the Connected Car Concierge: How Automakers Can Delight Consumers & Win to read the full report.

Mark Carpenter
Managing Director, UK

Mark is Joint Managing Director of Escalent’s European office based in Surrey, England. With over 30 years of creativity, experience, and passion for research combined with deep technical know-how, Mark leads business development in Europe in conjunction with Escalent’s global development strategy.

Jacob Dittmer, Senior Director
Jacob Dittmer
Senior Director

Jacob is a senior director for Escalent’s technology practice specializing in B2B and consumer technology. He has consulted fledgling startups to established Fortune 500, helping solve business problems for product marketers, executive leadership, channel managers and sales teams. He has led countless research engagements among consumers, developers, IT decision makers, end users and the litany of customers affected by enterprise technology using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Prior to diving into market research, Jacob earned his PhD. from University of Oregon in Communications, authoring a dissertation on the NFL.