by Christian Feilmeier

wake up call – online sales for car manufacturers 

Car manufacturers in Germany seem to have overslept the trend. While Asian countries have been successfully implementing online shops with virtual features such as click-to-buy and online chats for years, German car manufacturers are still struggling with the topic of e-commerce. What might the solution look like and what role do traders play in it?

key takeaways

  • Car manufacturers should now bundle their strengths and integrate the merchants more strongly on their portals


  • This enables them to serve their online sales channel more efficiently while ensuring a stringent brand presence and a consistent customer experience


  • It not only strengthens customer proximity but also helps to avoid data loss throughout the entire customer journey

virtual features, click-to-buy and online chats: e-commerce is the trend  

If you are looking for a used car in internet portals you will quickly find it. The situation is somewhat different for new cars - because 20 to 30 percent of all new vehicles are to be sold online in the next three years. To turn this forecast into reality, however, online sales channels must be served more efficiently while ensuring a consistent customer and brand experience.   


the solution: a "one-stop shop" 

So-called "one-stop-shop" models are intended to open up additional business for dealers and expand their sales more strongly over the entire product lifecycle. In concrete terms, the one-stop-shop solution offers everything from new and used cars to lifestyle products, spare parts, and accessories as well as suitable services online. VR and AR also offer the possibility of presenting products realistically.   


digitization is not everything: dealers must act  

In addition to adopted standards, processes, and responsibilities on the dealer side, training and courses are also necessary in order to use the e-commerce channels professionally, intensively and efficiently despite scarce capacities. It is therefore not enough to rest on one's laurels and simply offer a platform. Dealers need to know how to integrate them into everyday life. Only in this way is a modern customer experience possible.


setting a good example: how BMW implements its online used car presence   

The Bavarian automobile manufacturer is relying on a new platform and new functionalities to strengthen its e-commerce business. In the future, BMW dealers will not only be able to offer used cars but will also be able to conduct professional marketing communication. And that's not all: the platform also offers an interface to the most important independent portals.   

contact our consulting partner

Michael Erz is partner at rpc – The Retail Performance Company and heads the consulting division.
Michael Erz
Leading rpc’s consulting division, Michael Erz has been integral to establishing and growing our consulting and business technology services since 2013. His broad skillset ranges from sales strategy support to design and optimization of business models
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