Maruti Suzuki India has announced that it has sold over 2 lakh cars through its digital channels, which currently covers over 1000 dealerships across the country. The carmaker first started accepting online bookings back in 2017, and slowly expanded its digital footprint with other features like the customisation tool i-Create. Over the last couple of years, the company has seen a 5-fold increase in digital enquiries, and since April 2019, the company has received nearly 21 lakh digital enquiries, leading to around 20 per cent of its total sales. The company says that due to COVID-19, the digital enquiry contribution has further increased exceeding 33 per cent during the last 5 months.
Speaking on the Digital initiatives, Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director (Marketing & Sales), Maruti Suzuki India said, "Nearly 95 per cent of new car sales in India are digitally influenced as per the Google Auto Gear Shift India 2020 Report. Customers first research online and then buy at the physical dealerships. While online experience provides the complete spectrum of information to the customers, at the last mile the customers seek assurance of the deal from their trusted dealer advisors. Interestingly, customers who enquire through our digital channel end up purchasing a car within 10 days. This reaffirms that with a robust online to offline platform executed by a digitally enabled salesforce, converting digital enquiries into sales becomes easier."
The company says that as customer behaviour further shifts online, dealerships' websites are witnessing a much larger traffic flow. It further adds that, according to a research done by Google, over 72 per cent of auto customers search for their dealers online, which has prompted to the company to take what it calls, the Hyperlocal marketing approach. Talking about that Srivastava added, "We witnessed a two-fold increase in 'Near Me' customer searches for Maruti Suzuki dealers. Our investment to create a hyper-local platform is to help customers discover faster and connect to their nearest dealers. This initiative has seen rapid growth in the recent times. In the last 2 years, we have integrated over 1000 dealerships across 3000 online touchpoints in this digital transformation journey"
Additionally, Maruti Suzuki India has also been working with its dealer partners to help them build their digital marketing capabilities. For that, Maruti Suzuki consistently offers training to its dealer partners to upgrade their knowledge of the online platforms. These dedicated digital lead management teams have been trained through regular physical and virtual training on the finer nuances of managing the expectations of today's digitally-savvy customer.