This year’s NADA Convention & Expo in Las Vegas, NV was an outstanding event and one of the busiest NADA conventions we have ever seen!
Flick Fusion received two honors at the show worth mentioning. On the first day of the show, Automotive News featured Flick Fusion in an article titled “7 Things to Check Out” at NADA.
The article featured VidCom, our award-winning mobile communications app that combines the power of VidMail with StreaMe. With VidCom, dealers can text videos to customers and participate in one- and two-way live streaming video calls. This is the perfect app for engaging customers and performing live vehicle walk arounds!
Additionally, Flick Fusion’s Smart Flicks platform received an AWA award for “Best Website Merchandising Software,” presented by PCG Companies.
“Flick Fusion is both excited and humbled to have received both of these special recognitions and would like to thank Automotive News and PCG Companies for their continued efforts in education within the dealership community,” said Tim James, COO of Flick Fusion.
A statement posted on the AWA website summarizes why Smart Flicks was honored with the award:
“As the PCG team researched the newest edition of the Smart Flicks platform, it became apparent that multiple tweaks, customizations, and new apps have been added through the years to make a stronger product. Dealers using Smart Flicks have had direct input to help identify product improvements. Flick Fusion has responded with new iterations, reports, apps, or codes that made Smart Flicks even smarter.
The science and technology of displaying inventory and offers on a dealer’s website is continually changing, along with today’s consumer expectations of their shopping experience. Award recipients in the Website Merchandising category continue to enhance existing products and deliver new solutions to help this area of our industry grow.
We congratulate Flick Fusion for being named a 2018 AWA winner for Website Merchandising and thank them for participating in this year’s review process.”
Live video is taking over. If you have been on social media anytime lately, you probably noticed the barrage of streaming Facebook Live videos. In addition, videoconferencing has replaced boring teleconferences on just about every major platform. Why? Because, while we supposedly live in a super connected world, people are, in fact, less connected than ever. We communicate via text in short sound bites that are constantly misinterpreted. Emails are frequently misunderstood and social communications via platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are often incorrectly perceived. This is because the majority of human communication occurs through visual cues such as body language, tone of voice and facial expressions… and you cannot see any of these through text or email.
Why the rise in live streaming with telecommunication companies and social media platforms? Because it’s engaging. Video, in itself, is engaging. But add in another dimension where it is not pre-recorded, but live, and conversations occur in real-time. It takes video to the next level as a communications tool.
If you think this is not already happening, let me tell you, it is. And it could be creating problems for your dealership if it’s happening on a salesperson’s personal Facebook profile or on a Facebook page they created to represent the dealership. First, if it’s happening on the salesperson’s personal profile or a Facebook page they created, there is truly no dealership connection, record of the conversation or ability for oversight. Second, when salespeople are representing the dealership, those conversations with customers belong to the dealership, not the salesperson. What happens if the salesperson says the wrong thing – even innocently?
Now don’t misunderstand my point here as live streaming video is an excellent way to engage customers. The customer can talk to a salesperson as if they were on your lot. The salesperson can walk out to the vehicle the customer is interested in, do a walkaround and interact with the customer live while answering their questions and showing them features they are interested in. It’s like taking a phone call to another level. Live streaming will certainly grow in used, just as video-conferencing has. If you are not doing so already, you would be wise to investigate solutions that allow these types of engagement between consumers and your dealerships in a way that’s measurable, and controllable, while enabling customers to communicate in the way they prefer and find the most productive.
Here are 62 statistics about live-streaming that are important to know. This blog would be a book if I went into all of them, but the key point is that live-streaming is quickly becoming the medium of choice for consumers for brand interaction.
In our era of smartphones with built in Facetime and Google Hangouts, consumers are utilizing real-time live streaming to connect with their loved ones and friends because it’s more intimate and personal. And that is spreading to the retail world. Consumers can gain a more intimate and personal connection with your dealership in the same communication manner. Whether it’s from a one-way video call (the customer can only see the salesperson) or a two-way video call (both can see each other), they are equally effective.
People want to deal with people. This is easy to do via live-streaming, right from the comfort of their home. Salespeople have a much better opportunity to build rapport and trust and help the customer while telling the car’s story. They can show customers what they want to see – all in real-time.
Oh, and just a quick note in closing, as I don’t want to make you work too hard — for those of you too young to remember the Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers song “Islands in the Stream,” the title is a word play on the title of that song – stream – streaming video – get it?
With shoppers flooding the streams of video, your dealership needs to be the island they can rely on for great content, a personal connection and to get exactly what they want in the format they choose to engage.