BMW today launches a unique end-to-end buying solution for its cars. Now BMW customers will be able to handle all aspects of the car buying process online wherever and whenever they want to. With just a few clicks, prospective BMW owners can build their perfect car online, arrange a test drive if necessary, agree financing options and payment method, and get a trade-in value for their own car before finalising the delivery date.
Previously new car buyers had been able to do some of the car buying process online, but now they are able to sit back and do it all from the comfort of their own home, at a time of their choosing, courtesy of BMW Retail Online. Every step can also be supported by a BMW Genius or a sales executive at the retailer via live chat or email.
News of this announcement coincides with general purchasing trends for all types of goods increasingly moving to the web. Online global commerce is expected to reach US$2.5 trillion by 2020. This trend is reflected in the car industry with 97 per cent of buyers researching their car purchase online and customers now visiting a retailer an average just 1.4 times before completing their purchase. This compares to an average of four visits per purchase in 1998. Industry research also indicates that nearly half of all buyers would consider buying online.
Ian Robertson, Member of the Board for Sales and Marketing, said: “We are the first car manufacturer to offer a digital sales solution for the entire product range and the full end-to-end buying or leasing process online. Now, the customer can do it all from the comfort of their home. The integration of the BMW Genius via live chat and retailer messaging functions where the customer is able to get personalised support in real time, makes this system unique and a new benchmark for the automotive industry.”
Though the buying process can all be done online, a level of human interaction is still vital to provide personal guidance and peace of mind for the customer when required. Multi-channel chat options (webchat or email) mirror the in-showroom BMW Genius experience and are offered from 8am to 10pm.
There are six key features to BMW Retail Online. The online journey starts with the optional tool “Find your BMW”, leading into the vehicle configurator on bmw.co.uk. With a click on the “Buy your BMW” button the customer selects a retailer, is shown cars with a faster delivery date and selects their preferred finance method. The customer can then finalise all steps of the purchase with their chosen retailer in the Retailer Online showroom.
The key elements in more detail are:
- Find your BMW (Optional needs analyser) - helps customers find the ideal vehicle for their needs based on the distance driver, number of required seats, boot space and important features. It also suggests preconfigured cars with options most bought by other customers in the UK.
- Genius live-chat - offering real-time personal support via webchat or email, 7 days a week between 8am and 10pm.
- Vehicle configuration/ Check Delivery Times - offers the ability to fully configure a car or get a proposal for a pre-built car with faster availability.
- Finance offer - full integration of BMW Financial services with an easy-to-use finance calculator.
- Retailer Online showroom - ability to chat with a sales executive of the selected retailer, arrange a test drive, get independent car valuation of current vehicle and finalise all elements of the purchase.
- Online credit check - Full online credit check with 90 seconds feedback if auto accepted, and payment of instalment, deposit or full price online or by phone