The Ultimate Digital Showroom For The Ultimate Driving Machine
Ticking All the
Building a Digital Showroom for AGMC BMW was probably one of the more difficult tasks that came our way. Not because of the various customization options required but also because of the sheer number of other dependent systems that would be needed for integration such as Autoline ERP, Cozy for images, S-Gate for packages, etc. So, we needed to understand what these systems were composed of and what worked: API’s or webhooks? Should we go the old school way of synchronising the system by dump files?
The first step after we had finalized the core requirements was to get a better view of these systems. So we had to connect with the folks all the way at Munchen who manage most of BMW’s principal software systems.
Convenience or Luxury?
BMW is a high end manufacturer. So, while developing the UI / UX we were a little apprehensive on how much is too much. Should we give more prudence to the brand’s luxe identity, or should we go all the way for consumer convenience?
Within the CI of BMW - Deliver Better Experience.
Configurator or Listing?
As a first step, we shared the wireframes & sitemaps, and received the brand guidelines. Well, then for a while it looked though we were running in circles - trying to get the perfect blend of convenience and luxe identity; while ensuring we kept all the essential elements in all the right places in the different sections of the portal.
So while the design process was a roller coaster, it was worth the effort. Now, let’s not get more ga-ga on that, you can view those here:
Autoline, the multifaceted DMS for automotive dealers and manufacturers, is the core operations application at AGMC BMW. Much of the information that our system will have to consume resides in Autoline. So the Digital Showroom and Autoline had to be best buddies. To put it into perspective, we had to pull out all stops and ensure Autoline & oOrjit remained best friends forever.
Hence, what had to be done had to be done, one way or the other. So our Devops team got into action knitting together the connections between oOrjit & Autoline. Tried. Tested. Tried Again. Tested Again until all was good to go. We also ensured that they talked to each other regularly. oOrjit now takes a stroll every now & then and checks if his buddy Autoline has left any more presents and brings it back home. While on it, oOrjit also leaves back some pleasantries such as new orders, booking details, etc. that Autoline picks up and takes back.
Getting the Calculations
and the Logic Right
First, there are BMW series, then there are models, then there are variants, then Middle East Markets have its own variants, then there is the Model Year, then there are packages, and so on. So how do we present this to the customer? How many filters should we have? Should we show all the vehicles and ghost the sold ones or should we stick to only the available vehicles? How should the finance and leasing calculator be configured?
There was a lot of work involved from almost every single department of AGMC to put all this together. Individually and as a team, we have had meetings and then gone back to the drawing board and then did meetings again, provided our recommendations, and then iterated it again until we reached where we are today.
Are We ready Yet?
So everything was set. But were we ready for the big release? We did our internal tests, then did a beta release, made a few corrections based on the UAT results, and went LIVE. Nothing looked out of place, other than just a few small corrections based on user inputs & AGMC’s internal departments and voila! - we had built UAE’s first Digital Showroom for AGMC BMW.
But were we ready, yet? Well, the answer is no, and we may never be. Once we (Emsoho & AGMC) went live, we did realize one thing, though: you provide convenience to customers, they demand more, and you really do have to provide more. So, this now is a continuous process.
And Miles to Go from Here.
After an amazing experience with AGMC BMW on its Digital Showroom, our mutual realization of the impacts it had on both business revenue and customer experience have helped us put out a road map to extend the capabilities of the Digital Showroom to cover the entire gamut of the sales & operational processes in automobile retailing and servicing.
So, these are the works in progress that we intend to roll out in the very near future:
An ordering portal for retailers selling BMW parts & accessories.
An interface that exclusively promotes leasing of BMW vehicles.
And whatever other features our teams come up with!
- AGMC operates the first Digital Car Showroom in UAE and can set new benchmarks in the automobile industry of the region.
- Customers are provided with the ability to customize BMW vehicles according to available specifications & shop online before picking up their purchase from the nearest dealership
- Easily accessible information online ensures that the AGMC showroom sales staff have fewer tasks at hand while they meet customers in the showroom.
- Customers are provided with a real-time inventory of actual vehicles available in the showroom, ensuring that they have a first-hand look and feel of the vehicle before they visit the showroom.
- End-to-end customer journey including financing, booking options and offers available reduces the efforts required to manage & educate the customer in the showroom.