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The future of automotive retail: The importance of merging digital and physical experiences seamlessly

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The automotive industry is no different to any other when it comes to online and in person experiences. Organisations need to understand and recognise their target customer’s digital behaviour and expectations and ensure that the physical experience matches it. And vice versa, of course.

In our previous blog we looked at how automotive companies tend to approach their business in a siloed way and how that will need to change. This is also relevant to the online and offline customer experience itself. And as we noted in our blog The Future Of Automotive Retail: Rethinking The Customer Experience, customers begin their research online.

In fact, according to McKinsey’s 2020 automotive retail report, “almost 90% of customers use dealer websites or OEM [original equipment manufacturer] websites in the early steps of their decision-making journey”. Mobile technology is particularly key in the purchase funnel and is playing a greater role within the dealership itself too.

Potential customers are not just looking at engine sizes and running costs. As well as all the facts and figures relating to a vehicle, buyers are looking for video content and promotions, using comparison tools and seeking the opinions of online reviewers, friends, and family. It is vital that the online experience merges seamlessly with the in-person customer experience.

We were thrilled to work with new Chinese market entrant Qoros. We were able to define their service proposition and customer experience, and the brand launched with a seamless digital journey through research, purchase, and ownership. This was all enabled through a range of online, mobile, and in-store technologies including apps, configurators, and dedicated website services.

In our next blog in this automotive series, we will look at how consumers are shaping the reputation of brands and dealers and how to maintain control.

If you have any questions about the service design process or would like any further information, please get in touch: we would love to help.

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