The pandemic’s epicenter in Europe and North America underscores the need for automotive companies to remain nimble in their global crisis responses. Supply chain disruptions, combined with the significant economic uncertainty fueled by COVID-19’s global spread, can make planning for the future feel futile.
The automotive industry braced for severe changes before the global pandemic affected factories, dealerships, and auto parts. Now more than ever, many automotive retailers find their current technology lacks the necessary flexibility to adapt to “the new normal.”
The automotive industry should consider top ecommerce platforms to keep pace with the growing online market demand. Why? McKinsey and Company estimate the top 20 OEMs in the global auto sector will see profits decline by approximately $100 billion because of COVID-19, a roughly six-percentage point decrease from just two years ago.
To address safety concerns and build customer confidence, the BMW Group quickly shifted gears accelerating a digital transformation to streamline processes and increase collaboration from anywhere to stabilize and future-proof their business. With fewer people visiting dealerships, everyone at BMW agreed further to accelerate online sales capabilities and dealers' processes.
They used video conferences to connect customers with experts who could answer questions in real-time, then added contactless delivery and test-drive options. The ability to remain agile and pivot to meet customer needs was paramount, and their innovation to overcome adversity has positioned themselves for the future.
The automotive industry has a precarious future: one path leads to reinvention and success through the pandemic, while the other manages the current status quo. This dilemma leaves business leaders a brief window of opportunity to reimagine operations. To ensure survival and success, automotive industry players need to accelerate automotive ecommerce solutions.
Take a look at Fanalca, a metal-mechanical company, supplying stamped metal parts for Grupo Andino’s vehicles’ main assemblers. Fanalca is licensed to assemble and commercialize Honda motorcycles and market Honda cars.
The global pandemic created stress for Fanalca to sell Honda motorcycles through physical stores. The company’s existing online presence was limited to a catalog-like marketing website with a phone-based purchase model. Seeking to gain the ability to sell motorcycles directly to consumers online and provide an upgraded customer experience to their digital savvy clientele, Fanalca reached out to trusted digital transformation experts, OSF Digital. Learn how OSF Digital launched a direct-to-consumer ecommerce website in just two weeks, playing an integral role in Fanalca’s digital transformation journey.
OSF Digital installed its Quick Start Direct to Consumer solution in just 2 weeks to help Fanalca rapidly set up a digital selling channel and launch an online shop fast. This out-of-the-box commerce solution, powered by Salesforce Commerce Cloud, allowed Fanalca to restore business continuity by transitioning to a direct-to-consumer ecommerce platform and open a new revenue and distribution channel.
OSF Digital, an automotive industry digital transformation partner, launched Fanalca’s first online shop in a matter of weeks, not months, and transformed their selling model. The company gained the ability to sell and move products fast. In 5 weeks, Fanalca registered 300 new users and sold 11 motorbikes using 11 promotions.
Electric mobility, driverless cars, automated factories, and ridesharing are among the significant disruptions the auto industry grappled with before the COVID-19 crisis. Now, the automotive industry has to manage less travel, worldwide factory closures, slumping car sales, and colossal layoffs.
McKinsey and Company report that although disruptions will result in billions lost, companies reimagining their operations will perform best in the next iteration of normal. Currently, consumers are using online sales channels to engage with a plethora of businesses. A recent McKinsey digital sentiment analysis of Europe found the use of digital channels increasing by an average of 13 percentage points. What should the automotive industry do?
Growth in online channels is high for every country surveyed. Still, the most significant boost has occurred in Germany, which has seen digital channels increase almost 30 percentage points in response to the COVID-19 crisis. A faster time to market equals a lower cost for launching your online car marketplace. You’ll create customized user journeys for your customers and partners that can be featured on the marketplace and your partners’ internal teams.
Allow customers to register and log into your ecommerce marketplace to view each car on its product details page where they can customize vehicles, request a quote, book a visit, a test drive or even preorder a car. When you offer a more effortless shopping experience, customers will be more engaged, spawning new customer acquisition through meaningful customer journeys.
Create an online portal for your car dealers to view and manage opportunities, view potential buyers’ details, and review reports. You can also empower your car marketplace admins to temporarily or permanently create and view car dealer profiles and disable profiles and listings. Bringing customers and dealers together online has never been easier.
Can your internal teams manage a car dealer’s catalog? Create and manage a car dealer’s profile or configure a Guided Vehicle Search? When you empower teams to view and manage a portal for car dealers, you extend the cloud-based marketplace’s capabilities.
“Automotive leaders can achieve numerous advantages by prioritizing digital innovation and building a resilient supply chain. But there is a window of opportunity, and it is closing fast.”
The global crisis pushed digitization into fast-forward. This is especially true of the auto buying process well beyond earlier trends.
Auto dealers can accelerate revenue growth and provide a unique customer experience by adopting a digital first approach to sales.
OSF Digital specializes in designing ecommerce solutions that unify customer data and create strategic opportunities for the automotive industry to craft better customer experiences through increased personalization. Known as the trusted digital transformation experts, OSF Digital’s transformation successes among the retail sector are award-winning.
Kal Tire, Canada’s largest independent tire dealer as well as North America’s second-largest commercial tire dealer, wanted to offer an enhanced level of service with product selection, visualization, and personalization, as well as the ability to book tire installation appointments. Kal Tire also wanted to provide the right support at the right time at each stage of the customer’s decision-making process.
Kal Tire’s website was first replatformed over to Salesforce Commerce Cloud. OSF Digital then integrated their Retail.net POS system with Salesforce Commerce Cloud—making the first storefront integration on these two technologies.
Kal Tire is equipped to leverage both sales and customer service functionalities on each platform. The customer’s journey is fully supported at every step of the way. Their website features a sophisticated appointment booking tool backed by a geolocation feature to help consumers discover the closest store to obtain service. OSF Digital also integrated a product visualizer to allow customers to view how wheel options appear on their vehicle.
OSF Digital, the trusted digital transformation experts, provides the automotive industry multiple solutions to empower customer success. Learn more about the solutions that fuel some of the best automotive sites in the industry.
Developed by OSF Digital, this industry accelerator is built by leveraging Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Salesforce Experience Cloud, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Salesforce Sales Cloud. Use Automotive Accelerator to launch an online car marketplace faster and at a lower price, benefiting from all the Salesforce Clouds’ enhanced features, such as guided selling journeys and booking test drives and visits with the dealer, amongst others.
Did you know you can open a new distribution channel and start selling direct to consumers in just 2 weeks? Like Fanalca, you can quickly adapt to changing customer needs by opening a new revenue and distribution channel. This transition is easier to make when you partner with a team of digital transformation experts.
Are you selling pre-owned leased vehicles or rental cars and want to sell direct to consumers quickly? Quick Start Automotive fills the gap between consumer needs and the traditional automotive sales model, simplifying the product discovery journey and offering self-service features to reserve a car, schedule a test drive or make a dealership visit.
Check out these drop-in cartridges that are Storefront Reference Architecture (SFRA) compatible with Salesforce Commerce Cloud providing the automotive industry different ways to attract, satisfy, and retain customers.