Maruti Suzuki India claims to have sold over two lakh cars through its online sales platform, which was initiated two years ago. The online channel covers about 1,000 dealerships across India.
Shashank Srivastava, Maruti Suzuki India Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), in an official statement said their digital channel which was introduced in 2018, has witnessed three times increase in digital enquiries. He said that it recorded sales of over two lakh units since April 2019. “This digital channel has helped to generate over 21 lakh customer enquiries,” Srivastava said. “Interestingly, customers who enquire through our digital channel end up purchasing a car within 10 days. This reaffirms that with a robust online to offline platform executed by a digitally enabled salesforce, converting digital enquiries into sales becomes easier.”
Srivastava, citing the Google Auto Gear Shift India 2020 Report, highlighted that 95 per cent of new car sales in India are digitally influenced as per the customers first research online, and then buy at the physical dealerships. According to KPMG Auto sales post COVID-19 report, there was already a shift towards online booking of appointments, doorstep pickup/delivery and online payments. It said several original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), both premium and mass market, have already recognized this trend and launched a complete online buying experience, starting from initial enquiries and customization of features, to booking, financing and delivery in a complete contact-less transaction. Moreover, even test drives are today offered at the customer’s doorstep, thereby eliminating the need to visit a showroom. The report said while there will always be a section of customers that continues to prefer the traditional route of purchasing a car, the increasing acceptance of online purchases may ultimately reduce the dependence on expensive real estate. It added that companies will have to focus on delivering superior customer experience by ensuring a frictionless path to purchase in an online world to benefit from this trend.
Maruti Suzuki’s executive said the company’s investment to create a hyper-local platform is to help customers discover faster and connect to their nearest dealers. “This initiative has seen rapid growth in recent times. In the last two years, we have integrated over 1,000 dealerships across 3,000 online touchpoints in this digital transformation journey,” he explained. The carmaker’s dealership websites are also recording a larger traffic flow.