The auto industry has introduced waves of product innovations, from clean energy technologies to safety sensing systems and autonomous vehicles. Yet when it comes to automobile marketing and the customer shopping experience, insights and innovations are few and far between. Despite dramatic shifts in retail shopping and purchase behaviors, the car shopping experience has barely evolved since the first car dealership opened more than 100 years ago.
So, how do you transition an industry where dealers depend on traditional dealerships that often run counterintuitive to the ways today’s and tomorrow’s consumers want to shop?
Nissan recognized the impact of online retail and the massive investments of the largest brick-and-mortar retailers to digitize. Beyond greater selection and customization stood the looming customer expectation of near real-time satisfaction. Together, we set out to reimagine a network of sales and service formats that would address all the implications of the new car shopper in all her permutations.
Starting with a series of discovery workshops with stakeholders, we applied Lippincott’s proprietary Customer of the Future framework to analyze market forces and evolving consumer behaviors, and to explore new benchmarks set by emerging mobility companies.
Lippincott created an ecosystem of new retail formats, with each designed to deliver new relevance and differentiation to the brand. Formats ranged from an entirely digital offering that would establish a direct-to-consumer sales and service experience through to an experiential brand destination designed to drive consideration and brand affinity.
The integrated retail ecosystem ensures a seamless experience across the customer journey, from discovery through to the purchase occasion to ownership and beyond. To guide the rollout, we created an implementation guide that covered everything from the required organizational structure of each format through to its differentiated engagement program and the desired customer journey.
The professional services firm Turner & Townsend supported implementation of the program. Further opportunities to set the bar higher for the future of automotive customer satisfaction and sales have never looked brighter.