Automakers are searching far and wide for ways to reach as many potential customers as possible. And given that consumers are changing the way they shop these days, companies are getting increasingly creative in their approach and strategies.
Hyundai, long a company that has made its own way in the domain, is the latest to show originality in attempting to reach its clientele. The Korean automaker has just launched a digital showroom concept on the Amazon Vehicles search engine platform. It’s the first automotive manufacturer to create such a page on the monstrously large Amazon website.
“We are excited to continue improving the automotive retail experience by offering tools and access that make shopping for a car even easier."
- Dean Evans, CMO, Hyundai Motor America
This move is a reflection of the fact that the online e-commerce giant has become a force in automotive sales (or at least access to them), by creating its own search engine. But up until now, though its pages displayed models and some detailed info, they did not allow consumers to enter into direct contact with retailers.
Hyundai, as is its habit, is looking to stand apart from its competitors by using Amazon’s advanced platform to create a virtual portal, which allows shoppers to schedule road tests, “build and price” vehicles according to their preferences and access inventories of available models and trims, as well as find a nearby dealership via the Hyundaiusa.com website.
The digital showroom also provides information on the Hyundai Shopper Assurance program, which aims to make the shopping process easier for customers, as well as on the Hyundai Blue Link system that allows owners to stay connected to their vehicle. The latter systemnow benefits from the Amazon Alexa virtual assistant.
Hyundai and Amazon have synched their systems in connection with the Shopper Assurance system, which, among other things, ensures that consumers receive correct pricing, without hidden costs, in order to create this Digital Showroom. Transparency is a prime motivator for this initiative, and Hyundai explains that Amazon was only willing to come onboard for it if it was certain that the experience the showroom provides is customer-focused.
This partnership between Hyundai and Amazon is the logical continuation of a collaboration that started in 2016. At that time Amazon offered customers in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas of California the opportunity to schedule a test drive of the 2017 Elantra. The association opened the door to the two companies developing closer links, with Exhibit A being today’s announcement of the digital showroom.