Maruti Suzuki India Limited has successfully established India’s largest online sales network, which was a necessary step amid the ongoing pandemic. The online initiative also helps customers get information from their preferred resellers quickly and efficiently. It is important to note that the success of the automaker is not an overnight action. Maruti Suzuki launched the online digital initiative two years ago. Fast forward to now, the network now covers nearly 1,000 dealers across the country. According to Google research, over 72% of automotive customers search for their dealerships online. This simpler and more transparent process clearly brings ease of decision-making to customers.
After foreclosure, as customer behavior evolves online, dealership websites experience a much higher flow of traffic. The positive results of the initiatives are evident, as digital inquiries for Maruti Suzuki have increased fivefold to around 20% of total sales. In the prevailing COVID-19 scenario, the contribution to digital investigations has further increased, exceeding 33% in the last 5 months.
Speaking on digital initiatives, Mr. Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director (Marketing and Sales), Maruti Suzuki India Limited said: “Almost 95% of new car sales in India are digitally influenced, according to Google report Auto Gear Shift India 2020. Customers search online first and then buy from physical dealers. While the online experience provides a full spectrum of customer information, at the last mile, customers seek transaction assurance from their trusted dealership advisors. Interestingly, customers who inquire through our digital channel end up buying a car within 10 days. This reaffirms that with a robust online and offline platform run by a digital sales force, converting digital requests to sales becomes easier. Since the introduction of this new digital channel in 2018, we have seen a threefold increase in digital inquiries and recorded sales of over 2 lakh units since April 2019. This digital channel has helped generate over 21 inquiries of lakh customers.
He added, “We have seen a doubling of searches for ‘Near Me’ customers for Maruti Suzuki dealers. Our investment in creating a hyper-local platform is to help customers discover faster and connect with their closest resellers. This initiative has grown rapidly in recent times. Over the past 2 years, we have integrated over 1,000 dealers across 3,000 online touchpoints into this digital transformation journey ”
Making the most of the transition to online sales, the company has built a cutting-edge technology platform that helps OEM and dealer websites generate synergies and strengthen localized messaging. To do this, the company has partnered with leading online platforms such as Google and Facebook, bringing global digital expertise to dealer teams. According to Maruti, all these teams dedicated to the management of digital prospects have been trained through regular physical and virtual training on the finer nuances of managing the expectations of today’s digital savvy customers.