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Ducati revs up mobile ambitions via iPad app

By
July 9, 2013

Mobile-driven approach

Italian motorcycle manufacturer Ducati has rolled out an iPad application that helps dealers and employees custom order and ship products for consumers.

The Ducati Communication System iPad app lets employees in both its dealerships and manufacturing headquarters communicate with each other. The marketer decided to roll out the app to unify its distribution centers across 1,000 dealers in 88 countries.

“It is brilliant because Ducati is already known as a high-end, high-quality product,” said Alex Kutsishin, director of business development at FiddleFly, Columbia, MD.

“The POS app is more than a point-of-sale solution, it is a brand and experience enhancer,” he said. “Using mobile to make a customer’s experiences more personal and engaging is one of the underlying reasons why mobile is growing the way it is. Ducati is now going to make the customer feel more involved with the purchasing process than ever before making the purchase decision that much better.”

Mr. Kutsishin is not affiliated with Ducati. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

Ducati did not respond to press inquiries.

Mobile sales engine
Audi-owned Ducati manufacturers high-end Italian motorcycles. The company is headquartered in Bologna, Italy.

Using the app, dealers can track down and send in all of the information that they need for orders. Additionally, the app lets employees track orders from production through delivery.

Compared to the company’s other communication channels used by Ducati, the point-of-sale app also helps the company access information in real-time, which was not available previously.

Additionally, the app serves as a training device to keep employees updated about new products.

The app also lets employees exchange motorcycles between dealerships if a consumer is looking for a particular model.


In the right lane

Warranties, vehicle history and maintenance-related information can also be accessed via the app.

Ducati sales associates also use the app to show consumers images and product information, similar to how a traditional paper brochure worked in the past.

The app also allows consumers to customize their own motorcycles that might not be available at a dealership.


Easy tracking

Deal on mobile
Nowadays, car and motorcycle manufacturers are constantly having to think outside the box when it comes to marketing.

In this case, what makes Ducati’s iPad efforts stand out is that it can transition between a consumer-facing app to a manufacturer-focused app.

However, some experts say that given the short lifecycle of mobile devices, Ducati should be thinking about other ways to develop content beyond the iPad.

“Ducati is a prime example of improving customer experience by enabling sales associates to assist their clients next to the product consumers are actually interested in,” said Cezar Kolodziej, president/CEO of Iris Mobile.

“As tablets are quickly replacing desktops and laptops among consumers, the same trend can be noticed with enterprise apps where tablets are quickly replacing desktops and laptops,” he said.

“However, it reduces the market share of the solution. Instead of developing an iPad-based application, I would recommend an online app with responsive design to accommodate not only iPads, but also other hardware options.”

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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