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Car dealers cannot afford to let a bad showroom experience derail their digital strategy

Dealer principal Paul Neale said the geniuses had a role to play in getting the digital-to-physical transition right.

“When someone configures a car online, they get a reference number which can be fed into our showroom’s Virtual Product Presenter. Instantly the car is in front of them in 3D on a 55-inch screen. That’s the start of the physical journey – we know who they are and we know the car they have configured.”


Building the digital showroom

Manufacturers have also extended the digital experience further into the physical sales process than ever before, in part because they know customers are comfortable with it.

Volkswagen, for example, uses iPads on lecterns in the showroom so the customer can configure their car further, add options or completely change their choices. They can do it with or without the help of staff and the system also features short video clips to help explain new car technologies.

VW calls it ‘the digital showroom’ and Ian Plummer said it was important because dealers will never have all the different model variants on site for customers to see and test drive.

“We don’t want a cold digital experience. We believe digital can help make a much warmer experience that’s seamless and without all the stop-start.

“It’s about making sure our dealer teams can continue that journey.”

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