The future of car dealerships: Why the automotive experience starts in the dealership

It’s an exciting time to work in the automotive industry. At CES this year alone, we saw significant advances in emerging technologies like self-driving vehicles, mood space and smart dashboards.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are eager to introduce these innovations to consumers. However, in their excitement, they often risk losing sight of a key truth. Before you can get people to drive your car, you must first convince them to buy it.

A disconnect currently exists between OEMs and consumers in the car-buying stage. Fortunately, Samsung SDS and Harman announced Nexshop at CES 2018, the Automotive IoT Solutions that will give OEMs a set of eyes into the dealership.

Reconnecting with Consumers

So, how can OEMs resolve this disconnect with prospective customers during the car-buying process? The answer lies in data.

When customers visit a dealership, Nexshop senses their movements and captures customer behavior analytics in real-time. In addition, consumers can tap their phones or request a near field communication (NFC) card. Using the card, they can tag products and messages that interest them while they shop to take the experience home with them.

Whenever a consumer engages with content using NFC technology, Nexshop tracks these retail analytics in real-time, so dealerships can measure how various consumer segments respond to content. That content could be anything from a promotion to a build your own car configurator to accessories that the dealership or OEM wants to upsell to their consumers. For the unidentifiable customers who aren’t tagging, video analytics allow dealerships to track and analyze foot traffic, dwell time and how customers engage with monitors and displays.

If you were at CES this year, you know that data stole the show. Each of these interactions that a customer could have in a dealership provides data points. Imagine what OEMs and dealership groups could do when Nexshop is integrated with a dealership management system (DMS), a DMS is the complete infrastructure dealership owners use to connect their entire sales funnel from sales to inventory. One could see which parts of the car a certain consumer demographic group prefers over another and so forth.

Creating a Spark with Data

Why does this matter? Nexshop enables OEMs and dealership owners to see the full sales funnel and measure conversions from entrance to purchase. So, maybe a particular demographic group visited a dealership and spent a lot of time at the configurator, but only a small percentage purchased a car.

By capturing and analyzing this data, dealership owners can make inferences and conduct A/B testing. In turn, these experiments help OEMs gauge preferences and buying experiences, which could allow them to sell more or build more desirable cars in the future.

Putting It All Into a Luxury Package

“Nexshop has provided an unprecedented retail experience that could be implemented in our dealerships and that truly enables a unique customer journey from the moment the customer walks into the store,” said Michele Fuhs, head of premium retail experience at BMW.

OEMs and dealership owners have a misconception that the auto experience starts the minute a driver puts his or her keys into the ignition. The reality is the experience starts much sooner back at the dealership. After all, a customer can’t experience a car until he or she has chosen to invest in it. Data-driven dealership experiences could be the missing link to persuade them.

Want to learn more about how you can use meaningful insight to improve operational efficiency at your dealership? Tweet us at @SamsungSDSA.

Manager, Jessica Mok
Manager, Jessica Mok IT Technology
Samsung SDS America

Jessica Mok is a marketing manager at Samsung SDSA specializing in communications, strategy, and partnership enablement.