GM motors with Salesforce to find high-margin retailer deals
24.09.2015 282 views
With profit margins tight on the sale of many motor vehicles, a team of General Motors executives sought new merchant partners at Salesforce.com’s mammoth Dreamforce conference and trade show last week. Their goal: getting merchants to participate in GM’s new OnStar AtYourService system, which lets GM vehicle owners use the Internet-connected OnStar service to find restaurants, hotels and other services—and soon mobile app coupons tailored to their interests.
The Dreamforce event, which Salesforce said had about 170,000 attendees spread across multiple convention center buildings and conference hotels centered on San Francisco’s Moscone Center, provided ample prospecting grounds for GM to seek merchants to add to a growing stable of OnStar “AtYourService” participants, including Hotels.com, Dunkin’ Donuts, and the online coupon services Entertainment Book and RetailMeNot. GM's senior management has noted that the relatively high profit margins of OnStar merchant services represents an opportunity worth about $350 million in net income.
GM, which formally launched the OnStar AtYourService program at Dreamforce last week, makes offerings from these and other companies available to drivers of its multiple brands who push the in-vehicle blue OnStar button, which connects drivers with a team of some 2,000 GM contact center agents, says Rick Ruskin, a manager of marketing and product development for online commerce in GM’s GCCX practice. GCCX stands for global connected consumer experience.
Consumers push the OnStar button about 40 million times per year, often to seek assistance in finding a hotel or retail store, adds Mark Lloyd, consumer online officer in the GCCX practice. “We know that 10% of blue-button pushes are for hotels,” he says.
GM also is providing similar services for corporate fleets, helping drivers find such things as hotels, restaurants and vehicle maintenance facilities.
GM plans to soon make available coupons from participating OnStar AtYourService merchants via its RemoteLink mobile app, which lets GM vehicle owners—more than 1.6 million of them, GM says—perform multiple functions such as checking if their car is due for maintenance. The plan for coupons is to serve up pertinent offers related to a driver’s interests—when checking if a vehicle is due for an oil change, for example, the app might show a coupon for a local service garage. “As we expand the AtYourService platform, we’re excited to give our customers another way to access unique deals,” Lloyd says.
GM will work out a revenue-share arrangement with participating merchants to cash in when consumers use the AtYourService program to find a merchant and make a purchase.
In the meantime, GM is using Salesforce.com tools, including the Salesforce Partner Community, to connect with participating merchants and let them work with GM on marketing campaigns. GM’s long-range plan is to develop AtYourService connections with merchants across six categories: fuel services, hotels, dining, retailers, parking services and GM dealerships.
Source: Internet Retailer
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