IN a further sign of the digital transformation of OEM businesses, BMW Group has announced it is expanding its partnership with Adobe, the business communication platform.

BMW Group says it wants to deliver personalised digital experiences as it advances toward the goal of selling a quarter of all its vehicles online within the next three years.

The company says that a data-driven, personalised approach will provide customers with seamless online and offline experiences, the ability to customise vehicles, doorstep delivery and personalised post-purchase services.

Our goal is to provide our customers with the same superior service whether they interact with our businesses online or offline. Adobe technology gives us real-time data and insights that enable us to deliver personalised experiences to our customers that build trust and create relevance. For us, this is the optimal connection between Human Centricity and Tech Magic.

Jens Thiemer, senior vice president Customer & Brand BMW, BMW Group

Data-driven approach brings dealerships and digital together

According to Adobe, BMW Group will use the integrated capabilities of Adobe Experience Cloud to intelligently link physical retail with online shopping and deliver well-targeted and connected customer experiences across all channels. 

It gives the example of a customer creating a personalised vehicle via an online configurator, completing the purchase directly online, with the vehicle delivered to the customer’s doorstep on request. 

This next step online digitisation will also enable customers to visit BMW Group brand retailers, and using details from the buyer’s online history, put the finishing details on a vehicle customised to the consumer’s preferences.

With the increasing move to agency models, it’s clear how BMW Group envisages capturing the customer and keeping them within the brand’s own digital corridors.

The thinking very much reflects this paper from management consultants PwC produced in 2018:

Dealers and OEMs need to enhance their joint efforts on omnichannel management/integration to avoid losing customers to third party online providers. This requires a comprehensive CRM system and an overarching lead management process between OEMs and dealers. Furthermore, they need to ensure a seamless customer journey that combines both the physical and digital world. This requires a single view of the customer which can only be achieved jointly by the OEM and dealers.

The Future of Automotive Retail, PwC Germany

It serves as reminder to leasing brokers that ownership of the online model will come under increasing attack in the future. And that constant improvement and a better customer journey are essentials to compete in the future.

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