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Engagement of Individual Offline Touchpoints and Omni-channel Interdependence to Transform China’s Automotive Retail Market
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The automotive retail market in China is likely to undergo a market transformation from experiential service to experience engagement; as well as from a complete sales solution to an intensive sales solution from 2018 to 2025. The automotive retail market is experiencing its maturity and a marketing approach of “everyone is a potential consumer”. In addition, the market consists of domestic, foreign, joint-venture automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). The rise of new domestic electric vehicle start-up OEMs is likely to lead to a new wave of online and offline retail touchpoints.Automotive OEMs are likely to further expand their touchpoints by integrating ecosystem structures. The ecosystem covers automotive OEMs, parts suppliers, financing and insurance companies, aftersales service operators, eCommerce, software and telecom providers, and other parties. They have started to transform their marketing strategies through online and offline retail platforms, with key touchpoints such as mobile apps, official websites, official eCommerce networks, social media, and offline retail platforms. Nevertheless, the interdependent integration is blurring the boundaries between online and offline platforms.In the “consider and research” phase, automotive OEMs provide higher personal experience engagement to boost customer interest and improve customer interaction. In particular, test drive activities have been transformed in the experience stores with a deeper and unique driving atmosphere, as well as fully automated trial experiences from automotive vending machine and car sharing. The presence of physical offline touchpoints are important to shorten the purchase barrier.In the “purchase” phase, Chinese consumers prefer to be close to online touchpoints. Especially the eCommerce platforms have transparent and standardized prices across different cities and regions in China. In addition, automotive OEMs are likely to build a vertical value chain to provide seamless and greater flexibility to the purchase process, such as financial solutions and official online flagship stores.In the “experience” phase, automotive OEMs offer competitive aftersales services, including free service and maintenance packages, extended warranty, value-added service for 24/7 roadside assistance, and individual charging point installation. The exclusive experience brings intensive solution.In the “retention” phase, automotive OEMs exist in all possible touchpoints close to consumers. Automotive OEMs support automotive brand-related activities including commercial sponsorship, corporate social responsibility, automotive club, customer relationship management, and exclusive non-related services (e.g., travel discounts). These touchpoints include individual participation, as well as the enhancement of automotive brand name, customer loyalty, and customer interaction.Leading Chinese technology companies are the important participants in strengthening the automotive retail process and omni-channel. Especially the eCommerce and digital payment solution platforms help improve the seamless connectivity and inspire the entertainment element of the automotive retail market in China.
The goal of this study is to identify, research, and analyze the future of the automotive retail market in China. The study presents the innovations and disruptions that are revolutionizing the industry in terms of changing customer journeys and retail processes.
Key Issues Addressed
Author: Chan Ming Lih
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