Installations to Go
InstallCard enables mobile installers to pick up business from non-installing retailers
By Erik Caplan
Consumers who are interested in mobile electronics usually have three installation options.
They could take a trip to a congested big-box retailer. They could patronize an unknown independent installer. Or they could open door number three, which entails picking up a screwdriver and taking a whack at it themselves—an option that could end in disaster for the mechanically challenged.
On the other side of the sales equation, some electronics retailers—both large chains and small businesses—have trouble selling 12-volt mobile electronics if they don't have an installation department.
InstallCard, a program developed by Haverhill, Mass.-based mobile services company MobileToys, offers a potential solution to these issues.
Essentially, InstallCard is a sort of "gift card" for the installation of various mobile electronics products. It is either bundled with the purchase of a product or sold separately.
When a customer buys a card for, say, the installation of a satellite radio, he or she takes the card home and registers information about the job (type of vehicle and type of install needed) online. The customer then receives a list of InstallCard-networked installers in the area, who, in turn, are furnished with the customer's information. The customer simply chooses an installer and takes in the vehicle for the work at a convenient time.
Clearly, this product represents a new way of looking at mobile installations for all parties involved, including manufacturers.
"Manufacturers want to sell their products wherever they can," says Frank Cantele, vice president of marketing at MobileToys. "They're looking for new channels, but some of these channels need installers. At the same time, local installers need business. We act as the medium, handling the customer from start to end. We provide a certified connection between customers, retailers, manufacturers and installers."