A customer using the Brazilian Digital Dealership

An Interactive Dealership​

First Brazilian Digital Dealership, Fiat's new shop uses self-service, virtual reality and heat mapping to offer a new consumer experience.

January 30, 2019 - Businessman Emanuel Bismark spent months "flirting with" the Fiat Toro. He visited more than one authorized dealership to get to know more about the model, but did not close a deal. When he heard about the debut of the first digital dealership in Brazil, he immediately went to see it: "My work is linked to technology, so I went there to understand this new concept", he says. "I enjoyed the experience, the service, the refined and differentiated space and the easy access to information, that I finally decided to buy my Toro Ranch!"

Located on Pacaembu Avenue, a prime area in the city of São Paulo, Fiat's first digital dealer is also the first selling point of its kind in Brazil. "It is a pioneering business model in the FCA group itself and will be rapidly expanding to cities in the interior of São Paulo and other Brazilian states, such as Minas Gerais [Belo Horizonte], Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco [Recife], according to FCA's network developer for Latin America, Tai Kawasaki. "By the end of 2019, we want to total 130 new points".

With 300 m² of constructed area, the digital store is much more compact than its traditional dealerships, which usually have 4,000 m² on average. The space is different starting from the facade, with an exclusive visual identity, with white, grey and burgundy hexagons. "The brand presented on the facade is formed by the letters that make up the Fiat name, not the traditional burgundy circle", says Fiat Communications Director Fernão Silveira. "At night, the facade has a subtle illumination in the hexagons with two LED panels that make up the showcase windows that communicate the brand's actions, characteristics of the vehicles and promotions.

Fiat's first digital dealer

"Upon entering the store, instead of an attendant, the customer is faced with a self service totem which identifies the customer through name, email and telephone number. Emanuel Bismark continues to tell us about his experience: "After filling out my information, I received a QR code on my cell phone to use in other interactive activities in the area, such as the virtual reality system - which impressed me the most - in which I used a pair of VR glasses to try different types of finishings, optional items, colors and versions of Fiat cars".

In the digital store, there are also two interactive tables, made up of 43-inch touch screens, where the customer can set up all models of the brand by choosing colors, options, accessories and extra services. There is also a third screen dedicated to Mopar, a division of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in charge of after sales, services, accessories and customization, where the client can customize their vehicle and purchase exclusive services.

Another aspect praised by the entrepreneur was the lounge style of the digital dealership. "There are only three cars exhibited in the showroom [the Toro, the Cronos and the Argo], but in a very elegant, glamorous way with special lighting and a digital totem with all the vehicles' information. I was able to understand all the characteristics of the Toro and when needed, a specialist from the store gave me support to make the purchase", he said. The car purchased is either delivered to the dealership or sent directly to the buyer's home.

Emanuel Bismark with the Fiat ToroEmanuel Bismark spent months checking out the Toro, until he went into a digital dealership to do business.

One of the digital dealer specialist is Marco Antonio, who says to be motivated by the transition from conventional to digital. "Comfort, ambiance and atmosphere are much more pleasant in this digital store, not to mention the greater interaction we have with the customer throughout the process of product presentation", he says. "In addition, there are actual cars to complement the experience, if necessary. For the 14 vehicles sold in the first few weeks of dealership's activities, our customer satisfaction was clear".

For him, the freedom given to the visitor in the digital store will contribute to the success of the new dealership models. "The consumer is free, as if he were browsing on a Fiat website, interacting with the different areas. We, the sellers only come into the scene if requested or when it's time to finalize the purchase".

All the finished configurations and the requests for financing from the Fiat website are registered in the customer's history. "This way, the client does not have to start the entire process from scratch at the dealership. All the information is taken and the person can continue the process of purchase from where he she left off", Marco points out.

In addition to the interactive environment and special service, there is another important detail: there is no paper work during the purchase process. Bismark praised the innovation: "Up until the signing of the contract, it was all digital. It was much more practical and it contributes to the environment".

Fiat's Commercial Director for Brazil, Herlander Zola emphasizes the importance of the digital dealership not only for Fiat, but for the automotive industry as a whole. "This pioneering spirit shows what Fiat is going to be like in the future, which is also aligned with new consumer behavior", he says. "No one buys a car anymore without internet involvement. We need to interact more with the client in a customized way. I believe this business model will expand rapidly".

An heat map

In the new Fiat dealerships, immersion in the digital world takes place as one goes through the front door, where a camera connected to the Samsung SDS system identifies the customer's gender and age group. This information, coupled with data collected by other sensors scattered throughout the store, serve to enhance service from data such as public flow and store movement. "After analyzing the heat map (photo), we change the layout of the cars in the showroom", comments Marco Antonio.

For families with small children, the Kids Space guarantees entertainment for the little ones with tablets and interactive animations. With the aim of receiving potential customers who usually bike on the path in front of the digital store or take their pet for a walk, the dealership also provides an exclusive parking for bicycles and an outdoor area with artificial lawn and bowls of water for dogs.

Words: Leandro Alvares

Pictures: Marketing

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