The car wash industry has long fought the battles of payments and how to build loyalty within a business. Years ago it was the battle to take loyalty cards. And even today, credit cards are not standard across car washes in the US. And now, the latest battle is to go mobile.
Two and a half years ago we wrote our very first blog here at WashCard titled “We Don’t Have an App For That” which outlined all the reasons we didn’t have an app and why web based the solution we had at the time was a better option for operators. However, a lot has changed in that time and mobile payment acceptance is the wave of the future. So, strap in and join us on the 5 reasons why you should consider going mobile at your car wash.
#1 - Apps Are Growing At An Astonishing Rate
Last year, the apps as we know it turned 10 years old. Hard to believe right? There were only 500 apps on the first iteration of Apple’s app store in 2008. Today, there are over 2.2 million apps available for consumers with over 205 Billion app downloads worldwide in 2018. This is good news, and bad news for app developers. While the ability to get an app into the app store is much easier than it was 10 years ago, there is also a lot more competition. This is why it’s incredibly important to do research and understand any app you want to use for your business, especially one that is consumer facing. However, with this kind of growth, waiting to go mobile could hurt your business more than help it.
#2 - We Don’t Leave Home Without It
Let’s be honest here, even us “non-millennials” never leave home without our smartphones. We can leave our purses, wallets, cards, cash, and everything else at home, but not our phones. They go with us everywhere and for many of us, direct our everyday life. From our alarms, to our banking needs, to social media, shopping, streaming services, and a wide array of other apps that help us conduct business or have fluent social lives. Smartphones are the lifeline to today’s society. In fact, 47% of US smartphone users say they couldn’t live without their device. That being said, if the piece of hardware is already in your customers hand, why not bring them the app to easily make their purchase on your site?
#3 - Mobile Is More Cost Effective
For car wash operators, adding new payment hardware to a location can be a daunting task. Between deciding what to do, who to buy from, how to install, credit card fees, and more, there is a lot to consider. However, going mobile allows you to get started with a low entry cost and allows for a much more open environment to payment methods for your customers. There are many benefits to adding credit cards to your car wash, many of which we have highlighted over the years. But, if you haven’t made that move yet, consider going straight to mobile. Skip the costs of credit card hardware, while still gaining new customers through a mobile based platform.
#4 - Marketing. Marketing. Marketing.
With a mobile app, your ability to do marketing to your customers is much easier, especially if they are a registered user within the app. Having their contact information and ability to see how much customers wash, when they wash, how they wash, and more, lets you create marketing content that fits the needs of your customers and how they buy. Through the availability of text message marketing and push notifications, marketing to your customer is a much simpler task than relying on customers to register their information through other means. Gathering customer information can be difficult, but allowing a mobile app to do it for you makes your life easier, while giving you critical information about your customer you didn’t have before.
#5 - No Demographic Is Out Of Reach
Different age demographics adopt technology at different paces, particularly when it comes to mobile. The research behind attitudes of different age groups shows that even some of the older generations are adopting mobile wallet opportunities. It’s not surprising that the younger generations take the top spot when it comes to both interest and usage of mobile wallets and apps. However, just under 30% of those surveyed between the ages of 55-64 claimed to already use a mobile wallet, and 27% saying they are attracted at the prospect of using one. That being said, even marketing your app does not, and should not, be to only the millennials and gen z’ers.
There are of course many other reasons to consider a mobile app for your car wash. As we move into a world that is full of mobile options, customers are simply coming to expect businesses to have an app.
All that being said, WashCard is excited to announce our new app to the car wash industry, UWash. The app that makes convenience the new loyalty program for your customers. More information will be coming out soon, but be sure to check out uwash.app to learn more, and get on our email list to find out when it will be available for you.