SAP Customer Experience for Automotive: Driving customer expectations in the vehicle marketplace
New revenue opportunities far beyond the showroom floor are revving up in the automotive industry. The digital transformation is driving a changing role for dealerships, revised ownership models and financial services for customers, and a fresh take on aftermarket sales and service business.
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42% of respondents to a supplier survey by SAP and AASA believe technology will impact the aftermarket in three to five years.
19% of respondents believe technology is already impacting the aftermarket now.
50% of suppliers are looking to add transaction capability directly with individual consumers, up from 8% currently.
Source: A commissioned study conducted by SAP and AASA, 2016
Globally, aftermarket revenue continues to grow at a very healthy pace especially in markets like China where it is projected to triple by 2022. During that same time period, the overall market will double, exceeding $50bn presenting a tremendous opportunity for those who get it right. And it’s not just competitors, customers and countries that are causing the disruption. The industry itself is poised to make the biggest changes, as the arrival of autonomous vehicles slowly draws closer to alter forever our relationship with the car. Autonomous cars will result in more miles being travelled and more vehicles on the road, with the direct consequence that more parts and services will be needed.
Today, cars have to be more than transport. They need to work harder to rival the myriad of goods and experiences competing for the consumer’s money and offer the kind of convenience we’ve come to expect from smart devices. This is a crucial element of increasing loyalty to a brand and keeping customers. The connected car is the car of the future. For the driver the benefits are obvious. For the car maker, the opportunity to turn services into revenue is enormous. A car that pays for parking in every city a driver visits across a continent, allows its occupants to shop while travelling and enables the manufacturer to generate income from this level of convenience is more than the car of the future. It’s the future of the car industry. And as the concept of ownership moves from drivers owning a specific vehicle to a contract that buys the right to a car, the account-based framework that underpins these services becomes the most effective method of communicating with the customer.
For the consumer, buying a new car can still seem like a daunting and not particularly enticing prospect. Just deciding how to spend their money is tricky enough; the complexity of leasing and rental deals is off putting and difficult to navigate. The experience at dealers doesn’t always accurately represent the brand. And for the most part, and with most manufacturers, it’s not a digital process. Often the only fully digital part of buying a new car is using a configurator. The rest is distinctly analogue. There is also a growing gap between the customer’s expectations of the ownership experience and what is offered by many brands. In fact, the word ownership is becoming irrelevant because increasingly, people do not want to own a car. They want transport. New methods of accessing and paying for that transport are defining the future shape of the automotive industry.