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Experts Define Mobile's Role in the Automotive Industry

  Steve Yankovich

Business technology is ever-changing. To help guide members through this whirlwind of technology advancements, SEMA will conduct several educational sessions at the 2011 SEMA Business Technology Symposium (BTS) during its Leadership Days on Wednesday, July 27, from 10:00 a.m.–4:00 pm. at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, California. One session in particular, led by Steve Yankovich, eBay vice president of mobile, will focus on the growing impact of mobile as a medium for automotive customers.

Today's automotive consumers increasingly rely on their mobile devices to make purchases and do product research. For example, consumers purchased 90,000 parts and accessories and 2,000 cars per week using eBay apps globally in Q1 2011, a 250% increase over Q1 2010—and that is only one mobile example, with numbers sure to increase now that there’s a dedicated eBay Motors iPhone app available.

As part of the keynote address, Yankovich will outline how mobile has become an increasingly influential medium when it comes to automotive purchases, including innovations in mobile, such as VIN barcode scanning to upload vehicle information and one-click parts-finder technology to locate vehicle-specific parts and accessories.

“Mobile enables customers to shop or source vehicles, parts and services right when they’re thinking about them, while they’re on the go,” Yankovich said. “Customers are most likely to remember a part that they need or think of a vehicle that they are interested in while they’re at an auto show, talking with a friend at an event or just strolling past a unique vehicle at a parking lot. That’s why automotive is such a great fit for mobile.”

In his role at eBay, Yankovich creates new products to leverage the eBay platform across all of eBay Inc.’s properties. He is also responsible for eBay’s mobile business and product development worldwide on platforms, including the iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and the mobile web. Under Yankovich’s leadership, eBay Mobile has become the largest player in the m-commerce space. eBay generated nearly $2 billion in mobile revenue in 2010 and is expected to reach $4 billion in 2011.

Additional panels taking place at the symposium include:

  • Manufacturer and Distributor Online Marketing Essentials – Famous Rhodes, senior director of eBay Motors, and industry thought leaders from Swirl, Part Authority, Falken Tire and Cie Studios will discuss how auto parts businesses can leverage online marketing channels, such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and eCommerce to engage with customers and generate new leads.
  • Product Design and Manufacturing Technology That Could Change the Aftermarket – Executives from SEMA, Whole Hog Technologies and Wohlers Associates will provide insight on how design innovation, the latest in scanning tools, CAD/CAM software and additive manufacturing machines will impact the aftermarket industry.
  • Connecting with Customers: Effective Content Marketing – Robert Rose of Big Blue Moose will share expertise on how businesses can create and effectively deliver tailored, compelling content to engage with their customers.
  • Capture, Manage & Nurture Leads to Win More Customers – Kirsten Knipp of HubSpot will discuss how to successfully attract leads and efficiently convert them into loyal customers.

The SEMA BTS is an annual event developed by the SEMA Street Performance Council (SPC) to provide attendees with insight on strategies and best practices in the fields of eCommerce, digital marketing, social media and business development. To learn more about the SEMA BTS or to register for the conference, visit http://www.sema.org/bts.