Hyundai’s ‘digital car showroom’ lets customers buy a car in minutes

06/11/2014

On Thursday in Bluewater shopping centre, Hyundai Motor are opening the UK’s first digital car showroom that lets people buy a car online in minutes without having to deal with sales people.

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The platform, developed by Rockar, is based on a vision of making car buying less intimidating and more efficient using e-commerce technology.

The online platform covers every aspect of buying a new car – researching, financing, evaluating, creating and purchasing a new Hyundai, in-store or at home, with no obligation to talk to anyone.

Rockar founder Simon Dixon says: “Our independent research has revealed that almost 40% of Britons are more likely to buy a car if they can avoid talking to salesmen. Almost half say they’d be more likely to buy a car if it was as easy as buying clothes, food and gadgets.”

Rockar had the vision but they turned to online retailing specialists Summit to develop the concept into a working reality. Summit created a platform enabling consumers to input various factors including their current car – so the system can generate a part exchange value – their budget, intended mileage, financing options and over what time period they want to pay.

This provides a list of potential cars, the consumer then chooses specifications such as colour, fuel type and transmission. They can then adjust any of the variables to instantly see how that affects their choice of car and ultimate cost.

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Ben Latham, Head of Digital Strategy at Summit explains: “The key technical challenge was integrating information from three key groups – car manufacturers, valuation companies and finance houses – and dynamically displaying the results in real-time as customers change the variables. It ended up being one of the most complex systems ever built on the Magento* platform.”

Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor UK, commented: “Rockar Hyundai is exciting and innovative. It utilises the latest technologies to make life easier for car buyers. Traditional car dealerships will always have a vital role to play in the car buying and ownership experience. However, this online and in-store option gives customers another choice to fit around their busy lives.”

Dixon explains how this will boost the auto industry: “The way the Rockar platform displays the information shows how owning a new car is much more within reach than most consumers think – the monthly cost can be as little as 2-3 times their mobile phone plan.

“Furthermore, digital showrooms in shopping centres will dramatically increase ‘casual researchers’. People who’d never consciously make a decision to travel to out of town dealerships can now stop in and buy a car, and have it serviced, in-between buying groceries, visiting the cinema or lunching with friends.”

Rockar.com, which works on computer, tablet PC and smartphone, was built and designed by Summit with Dalziel Pow completing the brand and design elements.

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