How Digital is Revolutionizing the Automobile Industry of India
| So Lets Talk Digital
For ages, the Indian automobile industry has been faithful to the traditional forms of media. But the last couple of years have been witnessing a certain shift in this dynamic as more and more customers are transitioning to the digital space.
As the number of internet users steadily rises, and the number of electronic gadgets that are being used by people does the same, the automobile industry has realized the importance of the virtual marketplace.
What is the importance of the Digital Space in the Automobile Industry?
Do you know that around 30% of leads for automobile giants globally are generated by digital mediums? But lead generation is only one aspect of marketing. Since automobiles are a high-value purchase decision, people don’t take them lightly, which is only logical.
A lot of research goes into buying a car, the make, model, color, price range, and so many other factors need to be considered. We live in the age of Google. This means that most people turn to the internet in such times when they need to analyze or research something.
While the main decision is almost always made online, when they go to the showroom to buy the product in question, the research part is now done online. Even though there were a lot of losses incurred by many industries owing to the pandemic, the automobile industry still managed to remain among the top-performing ones.
This feat was possible largely because of the digital space. As reported by Google, around 80% of car buyers take the help of online videos as a part of their research before they decide upon a vehicle. After watching the video, they also perform certain follow-up actions. This could be visiting the car dealer's website or checking out the service options, and so on.
What are the major changes the Industry has seen?
With the introduction of the virtual marketplace, there were certain changes that had to be made to the existing marketing practices of the automobile industry. Some of these have been explained below:
Launch of the digital showroom experience
Automobile companies are working on creating digital showrooms that will provide customers with the real-life experience of buying cars from the comfort of their homes. They will be able to choose a car, customize it in accordance with their needs, and even get information regarding financial loans and insurance offers.
There have been reports that as many as 54% of customers buying a vehicle for the first time would like to purchase it online. This is if they're given the chance. Digital showrooms, therefore, will help in unfolding a lot of possibilities that would otherwise not have been possible.
With the help of technologies such as AR and VR, AI-powered systems, and other such technologies, people will be able to enjoy an enhanced 360-degree experience of buying a car from anywhere. In fact, In Bengaluru, MG Motors had launched a digital showroom to showcase their car - Hector. It was received pretty well.
Creation of contactless environments
Due to the pandemic, people have become reluctant to venture out of the safety of their homes and interact with others, especially places where a lot of people gather or tend to visit, such as showrooms. Keeping this in mind, the industry has been constantly working to build contactless environments to curb this fear of their customers.
In 2018, Nissan India was the first one to create a VR test drive in the country. This became popular immediately and also led to a significant rise in sales. Lakhs of people across the country were able to test drive the Micra owing to the simulated environment that was generated with the help of VR-enable consoles.
The content was customized in a way that helped in convincing customers about the smart features that the car possessed, such as geo-fencing, advanced CVT automatic, speed alert, and so on. The main goal was to drive home the fact that the Nissan Micra and Nissan Connect would be their ideal go-to car in time of need.
Collaboration with influencers
The importance of influencers in our country cannot be denied and this fact was not lost on the automobile industry as well. People tend to trust influencers, even more, when it comes to making high-end purchases such as automobiles, fashion, travel, and so on.
Leveraging the trust that the followers have in their influencers, many automobile companies turned to influencer marketing to get the job done. For instance, Renault uses a slew of influencers to drive its marketing campaigns. There are several others who are successfully using the power of influencers to generate more sales.
Power of thinking locally
Do you know the important part voice-enabled search plays in rural India when it comes to auto marketing? Turns out it is slowly becoming pretty vital to their marketing strategy for these areas as people can easily engage with the companies using their local language and get all the information they need.
The language barrier is, therefore, successfully taken with the help of voice search. Bolero is an excellent example as they have gradually become a market leader by effectively engaging with the exclusively Hindi-speaking population.
Initially, they worked on the translation of certain keywords to Hindi to drive traffic using their quality responsive search ads (RSA). Following this, they were able to direct the traffic generated by the campaign to their website and thus, increased their sales by a high volume.
Surveys conducted by many popular automobile companies have shown that the people in India are now more than willing to shift a significant part of their car-buying process online. Each day the number of people going online to book their car service appointments, or researching cars, is only going up.
Accordingly, the automobile industry is preparing itself and actively working on catering to their needs and is continuing to grow each year, and contributing majorly to the economy.
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