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Interview from WhyBuyUsedCars.com [WBUC]
Crackberry, Sidekick, Smartphone - whatever you want to call them, they’re in everyone’s hands and people aren’t just talking.
We’re doing a lot more than just talking and taking pictures now. With over 1 billion text messages sent daily, the practical applications are being recognized and implemented by businesses more frequently.
I was fortunate enough to meet Shuki Lehavi, CEO of Gumiyo recently; It didn’t take me long to recognize we shared the same fervent enthusiasm for all things tech related…and our kids.
My position gives me a unique perspective on some of the changes to the infrastructure to the car business - some at a snails pace while others in the blink of an eye.
Check out some of Shuki’s comments from our conversation. I see things getting easier for both automotive consumers and dealers as they both embrace the changing landscape of car shopping…
WBUC: Describe your background and experiences which lead up to your current company:
SL: Simply put- I love applying technology to market. I’m an avid technologist and have been building mission-critical enterprise applications for over 12 years now. In my free time, I research mobile technologies and build robots. As mobile technologies emerged in the past three years, I constantly asked myself ‘what is the role of a mobile device in the traditional buyer-seller junction?’
WBUC: What was your “light bulb” moment that made you decide to start Gumiyo.com:
SL: Driving back from work one day, I noticed a car parked on the side of the road with a “for sale” sign on it. It occurred to me that the information that triggers a conversation between buyers and sellers is as simple as a picture, price and a little description. I then realized that the mobile phone would be the best device to display inventory and promote a conversation between buyer and seller – anytime and anywhere.
WBUC: Have to ask…where does Gumiyo’s name come from?
SL: Great question, and there’s a story there as well…. Gumiyo started as MobiZar (mobile bazaar). I always hated the name and during the first focus group I held, one guy said that he will never list a high-end product in a ‘bazaar’ like site. As I came back home that night, my 2yr. old opened the door as he held his teddy bear, “Adam”, I asked, “what’s the name of the bear?” He simply replied,“Gumiyo.” Once, I heard that - I knew I found the perfect name.
WBUC: You’ve got 4 primary target markets/segments…share your thoughts on the trends you’re seeing in the automotive business & how do you see online consumers benefiting?
SL: Used cars dealers are true pioneers! They are the first to adopt any technology and use it to build their brand and their sales. What we have proven, is that the mobile device is a great tool during the final stages of the sales funnel. During the first stages of the buying funnel, a user focuses on research/comparison activities, and uses the web. During the last weeks of the purchase funnel, the user is looking for a dealership or a deal in a specific dealership.
During the last few weeks – connectivity is a must. Not only outgoing connectivity (dealers following up on leads anytime) but also incoming connectivity (making your inventory available to buyers anytime). Mobile solutions bring exactly that – connectivity! The buyer can be at the car wash, browsing through a newspaper – one text message to your Go Code™ and they can browse your inventory from their phone. The dealership team and the buyer are always two clicks away.
WBUC: What other trends/new developments do you see in the mobile marketing segment?
SL: Without exposing too much, I think that (mobile) video support, location based services (LBS) and instant messaging will be the technology drivers. Mobile marketing efforts will evolve to be targeted, concise, location focused campaigns that will allow a dealer to bring the right buyers to the lot instantly.
WBUC: Any new products/services to expect from Gumiyo?
SL: Gumiyo evolved from a solution to a platform and in the coming weeks and months we will extend our reach and depth. You will see us provide more capabilities in the areas of reporting, campaigns and tie more buyer-facing mobile tools (like our CARFAX mobile reports). In addition, you will see supplemental products and services from our partners, build on top of our platform. These supplemental products allow existing automotive vendors to build mobile-facing products with us and provide these tools to the dealers on our platform.
Thanks Shuki…best of luck to you and Gumiyo.