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Digital Dealer Conference: How Audi’s cyberstores are at the forefront of car retailing

Francois de Bodinat

Interactive configuration tools are pivotal for the future of dealerships say ZeroLight, the company behind the visualisation technology for Audi City.

ZeroLight’s CMO, Francois de Bodinat (pictured), will make the case for innovation as an essential part of the sales process when he takes to the stage at AM’s Digital Dealer conference at Whittlebury Hall Hotel, near Silverstone, Northamptonshire on 6 September.

“Audi’s cyberstores are at the forefront of experiential retail in the automotive space, catering for a new, modern consumer,” said de Bodinat.

“The integration of innovation that drives engagement is delivering success throughout the overall retail landscape.

“Across sectors, over a third of consumers say standard products don’t offer them exactly what they want whilst 20% of those interested in purchasing customised products are willing to pay a premium.”

The automotive space is responding faster than most to such trends, incorporating new technologies to facilitate the in-dealership experience, according to Zerolight.

For example, 60% of car customers demand the kind of sophistication offered by real-time 3D configurators at the point of sale.

Increasingly, manufacturers are embracing real-time 3D configurators as consumers demand the ability to personalise new vehicles.

Such systems allow the car to be configured and viewed from any angle, inside and out, whilst triggering features such as opening/closing doors, boot and bonnet.

“Customers are generally far more tech savvy in today’s market. In general, almost two thirds of consumers utilise multiple channels regardless of time, place or device and expect a consistent experience.

“An omnichannel solution is the only feasible way to deliver such stability, ensuring expectations are met whilst running efficiencies for the brand,” said de Bodinat.

“By allowing customers access to the full catalogue of models and associated options, they are able to participate in the creation of their perfect vehicle. Such a process has a positive impact on return.

“Forbes noted that Audi City London saw 75% of orders placed sold at 20% above that of the base model through the addition of optional features and accessories.

“Done well, digitalisation doesn’t just offer a better user experience and cheaper, streamlined data process, but also runs operational efficiencies whilst increasing revenue.”

As strategic partners with Audi AG and dealership experience providers for Pagani Automobili, ZeroLight expects to announce partnerships with other international brands soon, particularly as such technology becomes more widely adopted.

De Bodinat said: “We expect that real-time immersive, interactive experiences will be a primary method of differentiation throughout the retail sector in the short-term.

“It’s predicted that 20-30% of dealership space is to be dedicated to digital technology over physical car displays by the end of the year.”

The company’s latest innovation in cloud technology means dealers will be able to take devices to external locations such as car shows, or as part of a shopping centre display and deliver a contemporary showroom experience in high-footfall areas. Such experiences improve awareness and test drive conversion.

As well as providing an insight into the technology which will become far more common in the next few years, de Bodinat will also explore innovations which are on the horizon including voice control.

Website

AM Digital Dealer Conference

Tickets

Tickets are available to dealers and manufacturers, with a limited number of supplier tickets on sale. To book, please contact Paige Phillips on 01733 395133, email paige.phillips@bauermedia.co.uk or visit the AM Digital Dealer Conference website.  

Venue

Whittlebury Hall Hotel NN12 8QH

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