Car dealerships have been undergoing a transformation over the past few years, with
audiovisual technology taking centre stage in what has become a more customer-focused, retail-style environment.
Sales executives have dropped the hard sell, becoming more like consultants, guiding
potential customers through various vehicular options via touchscreen ‘sales hub’ units. The showrooms themselves resemble high end, high street retail outlets, with large display units and videowalls – often touchscreen – allowing customers to discover more about different vehicles as they also interact physically with the cars on show.
Overall, AV technology is helping to make shopping for a car a more involved, informative and enjoyable experience – less intimidating too. But what if shopping for a car could be even more of a retail-based experience, with shopping centre based car ‘stores’ replacing dedicated showrooms, and with car salesmen replaced by sales ‘Angels’ from a retail background?
This is what Hyundai and Rockar were looking for when it approached Media Zest to replicate their Bluewater-based, Dalziel & Pow designed showroom in Westfield Stratford City. Of course, they also wanted to ensure that the experience of buying a Rockar was as interactive and enjoyable – with the latest AV technology taking centre stage – as the traditional, tech-savvy car showrooms. And that’s where Midwich came in.
THE POWER BEHIND RETAIL CHANGE
Located on the lower ground floor of Westfield Stratford, this second Rockar Hyundai store follows the success of the Bluewater branch, which welcomed 163,000 shoppers through its doors in 12 months.
The new Westfield London Stratford site measures 250 square metres and includes five new Hyundai display models, including the new Tucson, i20 and award-winning i10 (a further 20 are available to test drive at the Experience Centre). Eleven 21” Planar LA2250RTPW touchscreen interactive tablets allow customers to browse the Hyundai range independently, book on-site ‘You Drive’ testdrives and even make a purchase in minutes.
A series of video walls (three 3x 55” and two 9x 55” Planar Clarity Matrix MX55HDS displays) form a ‘digital wrap’ to provide additional info including the latest pricing and promotions, whilst two Planar 65” EP6514K displays display changeable content – for example, real-time weather conditions or traffic updates.
Unique to Westfield is a touchscreen table and two 9x55” Planar video walls located outside of the store within a set-back storefront. This creates a 24-hour brand zone, allowing customers to look at display cars, browse and buy even when the store is closed during shopping centre opening hours – for instance while visiting Westfield’s cinemas or bars in the evening.
Tony Whitehorn, President & CEO, Hyundai Motor UK:
“Rockar Hyundai has completely revolutionised the way in which consumers can buy new cars – and is the first business of its kind in the Automotive Industry. The way in which people shop and the use of technology in the retail sector has changed dramatically in recent years and it was very important to us that the way we retailed cars also reflected this.”