Silicon Prairie News

BallyHoo lets customers “try on” accessories for their vehicles

Omaha October 23, 2013 by Daniel Wheaton Only 18 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

BallyHoo Autoware allows consumers to easily see what custom parts would look like on their vehicles. 

Who knew you could bring your Ford F-150 into the dressing room? Theoretically speaking, of course.

Thanks to a new app, created by cousins Rod and Cliff Bennett, you can now “try on” different accessories for your vehicle.

Ronnie Menicucci, general manger at the Sid Dillon auto dealership in Wahoo, Neb., always hoped every aftermarket product he ordered—new rims, chrome, new mirrors—for customers would look good on their vehicles. “Sometimes we’d install a product and the customer would decide they didn’t want it,” Menicucci said.

The automotive industry was missing something the retail industry has had for a long time—a way to visualize accessories. So the Bennetts came up with a solution: an application that allows you to see what new accessories look like on a vehicle. It’s Omaha-based BallyHoo Autoware, and in less than two months, the app has expanded to six dealerships across the Midwest.

Nearly every vehicle available on the market can be customized on the application, and currently all models from 2002 to 2014 are on the application. “If you name it, we probably got it,” Rod said. BallyHoo also has 2,500 images of aftermarket accessories available.

While some dealers use the BallyHoo application on an iPad, others have kiosks that allow customers to shop around. This approach increases the sale of aftermarket products because it allows customers who would otherwise be sitting idly—say waiting for an oil change—to browse ways to customize their vehicles. Dealers are able to order pieces on the spot and even include them in the customer's car loan.

BallyHoo also offers videos that explain services customers may not be aware of, like how rust protection works or the difference between types of tires.

In some cases the Bennetts have found the app drives up conversion between 5 and 12 percent.

Dealers can utilize BallyHoo as an advertising platform, either for a specific product or in general for area businesses.

Tom Boje, BallyHoo's primary investor and partner at Treetop Ventures, said he "jumped on board" because of the previous successes of the team. Rod and Cliff created a service similar to BallyHoo called Chrome Enhancements, which allows customers to purchase various chrome accessories. In just a few months, the company's audience grew to 42 states.

“We like the fact that they had experience and good momentum,” Boje said. He added that so far he’s been happy with BallyHoo’s growth, saying the team has done its “due diligence.”

BallyHoo is working on expanding its customer base, Boje said, and they have “big plans” for the next 24-month cycle.

In the short term, the Bennetts say they plan on improving the application and adding more informational videos.

Learn more about how BallyHoo makes customizing vehicles easier for consumers:


Credits: Product photo from BallyHooAutoware.com. Video from Vimeo 

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