August 4, 2023

How Smartcar Connect makes it easier for developers to optimize user onboarding

Winona Rajamohan

Content Marketing Manager

It’s easy to lose customers due to a poor user experience, even for household brand names. The popular social networking site MySpace quickly lost its users to Facebook thanks to the latter’s easy-to-learn interface and straightforward actions. British retail company Mark & Spencer lost over £50 million from a bad website redesign that led to inconvenient user logins and poor navigation.

For connected car apps, the stakes are even higher. Connecting your car to a third-party service calls for a lot of trust between drivers and service providers. If a confusing website is enough to drive customers away, imagine the impression you could leave on vehicle owners with a slow and unreliable vehicle onboarding process.

Would your users feel confident in your solution? Or will they drop off your onboarding flow before they even use the innovative features you’ve spent all your time building?

Building apps for cars without the right developer tools is difficult. Businesses have to think about:

  • The product they’re introducing to the market.
  • The vehicle integrations bridging apps to users.
  • A user experience that motivates drivers to connect an app to one of their most expensive purchases, their car.

At Smartcar, we know how important it is for mobility businesses to support their developers in creating user-centric product journeys that work effectively for all supported car makes and models. That’s why we built the Smartcar Connect user consent flow to give developers more control over their user onboarding flow without adding to their technical workload.

🧐 What is Smartcar Connect?

Smartcar Connect is the fastest and most transparent way to collect user consent before an app makes an API request to a car.

👉 Read more to learn about the benefits of Smartcar Connect for mobility apps

Convert more sign-ups into active users.

Getting users to download a new vehicle app or create a new account with your platform is only a tiny portion of the battle.

The mobility space is growing rapidly, and everyone is trying something new. Over 120 billion venture capital dollars went to mobility tech in the first quarter of 2022 across sectors like autonomous driving software, electric vehicles, and ride-hailing. There’s more competition now than ever before to win over vehicle owners and edge out others in the market with innovative new solutions and high-quality experiences.

If your users find the vehicle onboarding process too confusing or inconvenient, they’ll become increasingly doubtful of your capabilities to provide a reliable service. These feelings of uncertainty can quickly surface if vehicle owners run into...

🙅 Redundant steps in the onboarding journey

🙅 Unclear communication about the app’s vehicle eligibility and data-sharing requirements

🙅 Difficulty navigating through the onboarding process and figuring out what to do next

On top of Smartcar Connect’s core functionality of streamlining the collection of user content across all 36 of our compatible brands, we also released new features within the flow that makes it easier for developers to accelerate the process of users logging into their connected services account:

Brand Management

Developers can customize the Smartcar Connect brand selector only to show the brands they want to support. For example, DERMS providers can limit the brand selector to only include vehicle makes with supported EVs, while car sharing operators show brands that support the lock and unlock functionality.

Brand Rankings

Developers can now choose to rank brands by popularity in addition to sorting them alphabetically during the vehicle onboarding process! This feature ranks the most popular brands on the Smartcar platform for mobility businesses onboarding both gas-powered vehicles and EVs. Brand Ranking makes it easier for a majority of customers for auto insurance, car sharing, fleet management, and roadside assistance apps to connect their cars via Smartcar.  A test release of this feature showed a relative 12% improvement in conversion rates for apps in these industries.

Remember Me return flow

Smartcar Connect now automatically signs a vehicle owner into their connected services account if they’ve already used the credentials to sign into the Connect flow on another app. Early data from the launch of this feature shows a 51% conversion rate for users who use the Remember Me return flow to log in to a second or third Smartcar-powered app.

Before we released these three features, developers would have to manually build these customizations and advanced user flows into their Smartcar Connect integration. This introduces additional developer work that businesses may forgo to make way higher-priority product developments — at the risk of lower conversion rates.

Deliver an intuitive user experience.

In May of this year, Smartcar surveyed 110 vehicle owners in the US about their experience with their connected car services. We discovered that 36% of respondents found their automaker’s connected services application challenging to use while 38% are inclined to use third-party connected car apps because they’re more user-friendly.

  • Brand select: Used by apps that are only compatible with a specific brand and want to simplify onboarding by automatically skipping the “Select your brand” step in Smartcar Connect.
  • Single Select: Used by apps looking to condense their onboarding flow and ensure complete accuracy by giving customers a clear path to link a specific vehicle to the app.  
  • Compatibility API: Used by apps that want to reduce user frustration and support queries by including a VIN-based compatibility check into the onboarding infrastructure to ensure the app is connected to only Smartcar-supported vehicles.

Empowering developers with holistic tools to build better mobility apps

Smartcar’s developer platform is designed to help mobility businesses offload as much work as possible regarding vehicle integrations. For us, that also includes the process of connecting drivers to your platform in a secure, ethical, and convenient way.

With Smartcar Connect’s customization features, we hope to empower mobility businesses with a user-centric experience that leads to higher conversions and more engaged customers. Check out our integration guide to learn how to integrate your mobile and web apps with Smartcar Connect.

To learn more about Smartcar Connect, you can take a look at these resources:

Vehicle brands, logos, and model names belong to their respective trademark holders and do not indicate endorsement or affiliation with Smartcar.

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