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Hyundai digitises car showroom experience

10 November 2014 - 12:26 by David Aiken

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A revolutionary new approach to buying a car has been introduced to the UK by Hyundai. It has opened the nation’s first digital showroom this month, in an attempt to encourage people to make real world purchases with the benefits of safe shopping online.

Plenty of consumers have turned to the internet to buy cars in recent years because they are thoroughly intimidated by the traditional showroom environment, in which salespeople will usually compete for your custom because they are trying to make a commission. But Hyundai has eliminated pushiness from the equation by making its new showroom, at the Bluewater Centre, far more reliant on digital technologies, while kicking commission out altogether.

According to Econsultancy, the average car buyer in the UK is 40 per cent more likely to purchase a vehicle if they do not have to face a salesperson, which is why so many people have been using safe shopping online to select new models of late. But now that Hyundai is combining online technologies and social media with a salesperson-free showroom environment, it could have cracked the formula for modern car retail.

The showroom is not completely devoid of people, since Hyundai employs a number of auto experts to help talk customers through the cars that are on offer. But the important point here is that these assistants are not trying to sell the vehicles and receive no commission based on units sold, so there is no pressure on consumers to commit to a purchase.

The internet has definitely changed in-store retail for the better, forcing bricks and mortar operators to up their game and put the customer first. Given that cars are usually the biggest single purchase a person will make apart from their homes, being able to consider them in an information-rich, hassle-free environment, sounds like a boon.