Carwash operators leverage the power of smartphones

Smartphones meet smart operators

Mobile technology is enhancing the customer experience and offering convenience.

On April 3, 1973, the first handheld cell phone call was made by Motorola engineer Martin Cooper in New York City. And, while this new communications device would take a few more decades to reach mainstream status, along the way the first smartphone was designed by IBM and sold by BellSouth in 1994 — the IBM Simon Personal Communicator. This early smartphone offered email, calendar and fax capabilities.  

By the early 2000s, more and more people started using personal cell phones. Today, a large number of Americans (97%) own a cell phone, according to Pew Research Center. The same research firm notes that while in 2011 only 35% of Americans owned a smartphone, this number had more than doubled 10 years later in 2021 to 85%.

Research also shows that younger generations not only own more smartphones than the 65 and over  crowd, but they are also more dependent on the technology for online access. 

According to a study conducted in February 2021 and published on, nearly half of survey respondents average spending five to six hours on their phones daily, not including work usage. Another 22% noted spending three to four hours on their phones daily. 

Apps have changed the way we are doing business and pleasure. Whether it’s streaming live television on the go or at home, checking email, texting and on and on, your customers’ eyes and thumbs are busier than ever before.

Many industries, including carwashing and detailing, have been able to capitalize on the mobile and app trends in recent years, such as with marketing campaigns and customer processing and payment. The convenience for all involved is immeasurable compared to past transactions and experiences. 

In this month’s lead feature, the author shows how new technology advancements are making mobile e-commerce more accessible and powerful. In order to match consumers’ enthusiasm for using new mobile tech, including smartphones, it requires a continual investment in carwash operations technology. Those washes that are changing with the times are smart as well.

You May Also Like

Leading women in carwashing: Destiny Baker

Baker is the director of training of Mammoth Holdings, LLC.

The women interviewed for this special series share their stories. The goal of this interview series is to not only share the stories and experiences of these market leaders, but also inspire more women to join this fun, exciting and growing carwash industry. 

This month let’s meet Destiny Baker. 

Leveling Up Operations

Being a top-notch operator requires an investment in education.

Leading women in carwashing: Brenda Jane Johnstone

Johnstone is the publisher/national sales manager, Convenience & Carwash Canada/Women in Carwash™.

Leading women in carwashing: Isabel Garcia

Garcia is the Carwash College coordinator for Sonny’s the CarWash Factory.

When is the right time to sell your carwash?

What to consider if you are thinking about selling.

Other Posts

OPW’s ICS and Rinsed join forces to provide more streamlined services

BETHLEHEM, Pa. — The Rinsed software pairs with ICS’ point-of-sale technology to help carwash owners reduce credit card declines.

Matthews closes four-property express carwash portfolio in Iowa

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Shine Shop Car Wash Portfolio was acquired by Rocket Car Wash, a national chain looking to expand.

6 steps to prevent auto thefts

Protecting your carwash as well as its customers from crimes related to auto theft.

Science of Dwell Time

A breakdown of how this important step impacts overall wash results.