Maruti Suzuki India Limited has managed to establish India’s largest online sales network, which was a necessary step amidst the ongoing pandemic. The online initiative also helps customers to get information from their preferred dealers in a quick and effective way. It’s important to note that the carmaker’s success is not an overnight action. Maruti Suzuki had initiated the online digital initiative, two years back. Fast-forward to the present, the network now covers nearly 1000 dealerships across the country. According to a research done by Google, over 72 per cent of auto customers search for their dealers online. This simpler and transparent process clearly brings ease of decision making to the customers.
Post the lockdown, as the customer behaviour further shifts online, the dealership’s websites are witnessing a much larger traffic flow. The positive results of the initiatives are evident as digital inquiries for Maruti Suzuki have seen a 5-fold increase to around 20 per cent of total sales. In the prevailing COVID-19 scenario, the digital inquiry contribution has further increased exceeding 33 per cent during the last 5 months.
Speaking on the Digital initiatives, Mr. Shashank Srivastava, Executive Director (Marketing and Sales), Maruti Suzuki India Limited said, “Nearly 95 percent 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 inquiries into sales becomes easier. Since, the introduction of this new digital channel in 2018, we have witnessed a three times increase in digital inquiries and recorded sales of over 2 lakh units since April 2019. This digital channel has helped to generate over 21 lakh customer inquiries.”
He 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 recent times. In the last 2 years, we have integrated over 1000 dealerships across 3000 online touchpoints in this digital transformation journey”
Benefiting the most from the shift to online sales, the company has built a state-of-the-art technology platform that helps the OEM and dealer websites drive synergy and strengthen localized messaging. For this, the Company has partnered with leading online platforms like Google and Facebook bringing global digital expertise to dealer teams. According to Maruti, all 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 digital-savvy customer.