Amazon, Cadillac Launch Digital-First Car Shopping Concept

Featuring deep digital personalization, customizable brochures, and VR test drives, Amazon and Cadillac are reinventing the way consumers shop for cars.

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Need to Know

  • Cadillac has teamed up with Amazon Web Services, Amazon Vehicles, and ZeroLight to demonstrate a new vehicle-marketing and shopping concept at CES 2020 featuring the Cadillac XT6.
  • The conceptual showcase is a four-stage customer journey starting with customized advertisements based on personas and ending with personalized digital brochures.
  • The customization continues at the dealership with a virtual test drive via iPad-controlled 4k configurator, wireless VR experiences, and an interactive AR app. Using a CRM dashboard the dealer will then offer the customer relevant recommendations based on their interactions in the early stage of the demo.

Analysis

The consumer journey in the automotive industry has long been dominated by offline experiences such as test drives, in-person trips to dealerships, and phone conversations with salespeople. Cadillac’s CES showcase and partnerships with Amazon Vehicles, AWS, and cloud-based 3D interactive experience provider ZeroLight illustrate how the industry can use tech to track consumers through the various stages of the journey using CRM platforms and digital marketing tools.

The cloud-based showcase aims to create a more consistent cross-channel shopping experience for consumers, guiding them through the stages of the shopping journey while tracking their interactions and preferences. 

“We’ve leveraged the power of AWS to build a car-buying journey that is entirely focussed around the customers’ needs, interactions, and devices. The hyper-personalization and seamless integration into the Amazon Vehicles store in this concept demonstrates how ZeroLight’s agile cloud-based solutions can deliver futuristic purchase experiences,” said François de Bodinat, CMO of ZeroLight. 

The process begins by serving customers advertisements based on personas. The ad links shoppers to a ZeroLight-enhanced Amazon Vehicles page, where they are able to customize everything from paint color, wheels, and interior of the car in a fully interactive 3D configurator. Customers then see a personalized ad and email featuring their exact configuration with pictures and videos, encouraging them to enter the dealership stage of the demo.

From there, consumers can visit a dealership and book a VR test drive as well as use an interactive AR app. When they leave, they are provided with a digital brochure explaining every part of the journey, including their customized car.

If adopting virtual test drives and customizable ads attracts new buyers, Cadillac could use the help. Business Insider reports that less than 7% of luxury cars purchased by Americans are Cadillacs. The new data-driven and tech-focused shopping concept put dealerships in a better position to personalize ads and close sales. 

Cadillac tapped into tech late last year with Cadillac Live, a virtual showroom aimed at generating sales leads and aid in content creation. Aside from the actual test drive customers got the whole experience without leaving the comfort of their home. The car company’s latest interactive seems to have solved that hurdle with VR. 

CES has long proven to be a must-attend for auto marketers due to the high level of tech-enabled feature developers and lovers in attendance. This year alone, Amazon has made numerous auto-marketplace announcements including this partnership with Cadillac, Alexa integrations with Telenav and Here Technologies and partnerships with JVC Kenwood and Fiserv. 

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