Delivering consumer engagement when the world is at home
Due to the events of 2020, a new customer service offering emerged as an industry standard within the automotive sector – a Virtual Showroom. Our long-standing automotive client, Groupe PSA, approached us to create a group of Virtual Showrooms – one for each of their four brands – to fulfil this new demand of online customer experiences.
Although the country was confined indoors, the nation still needed to browse and buy cars, so the brief was to create a dealership experience from the comfort & safety of customer homes.
The Virtual Showroom gave customers the opportunity to view the latest models, have exclusive live tours, interact with Brand Specialists, book test drives at their convenience, and even purchase vehicles.
Building the brand
When you walk into a car dealership the brand is paramount, and everything in the space reflects that. We used this ethos when designing the Virtual Showrooms, but of course had to factor in the limited physical space available, and ensure the presence of the brands translated through the virtual experience, just as it would if a customer were visiting a dealership in person.
Our Strata team converted available space at the Groupe PSA Head Office and built separate studios for each brand using the beMatrix system, usually used to build exhibition stands and other temporary installations.
The stock of branded exhibition equipment we had available for hire provided a solution to the very short lead time between brief and delivery, which enabled us to design & build the Virtual Showroom in a matter of days.
Clear and concise product messaging complemented with brand appropriate decor were used to transform a nondescript office space into something that brought four different brands to life through the virtual medium.
“Increasingly, web based viewing and brand interaction is becoming an expectation rather than exception and we’re positioned well across all our brands to meet these needs”
When installing the Virtual Showroom, the safety of our clients’ and staff was paramount. The lockdown restrictions meant that our Strata team had to reinvent some of the usual methods used to install branded equipment, without breaking social distancing guidelines. But with an experienced health and safety team involved, the installation was able to be completed with just two members of staff who of course were equipped with all the necessary PPE.
By creating the Virtual Showrooms for Groupe PSA, we ensured that our clients customer base remained engaged throughout the UK lockdown, allowing for customer relationships to be nurtured, and consistent brand communication during an unprecedented time. So, when the dealerships were able to reopen in person, customers were knowledgeable and ready to make a purchase there and then, instead of starting from scratch with each brand.
Solutions for the future
The Virtual Showroom aligns with the digital experience that Groupe PSA delivers to their customers. Our solution allowed our client to quickly adapt their business offering during challenging times, but also has longevity due to the long-term trends and shift in consumer behaviours that the Automotive sector is experiencing, of driving more of the customer journey online.