SAIC Roewe

How SAIC orchestrates New Retail

“Users, Products, Scenarios”

A truly remarkable retail experience has been launched by Chinese Automotive Group SAIC, with its “Roewe Smart Store”, located in Shanghai’s Xintiandi area. The purpose of the “Roewe Smart Store” is to transform traditional dealerships into digital experience centers embracing a data-driven concept of “Users, Products, Scenarios”, which to a large extent was created and implemented by mediaman.

The idea behind the SAIC Roewe Smart Store

The digital experienc center is an important cornerstone of SAIC’s transformation roadmap. It is a key element of data-driven innovation and marks the benchmark for the future evolution of the 4S store strategy.

The importance of combining physical with digital experiences:

An offline showroom is an irreplaceable element of customer interaction, where visitors are empowered to have tangible interactions with the actual vehicles, enhanced by digital assistance.

The idea of combining physical and digital visits:

The digital showroom supports the management of parallel visitor streams: instore user traffic as well as digital presence. Realizing the connection and interplay between offline and online channels is key to an effective omnichannel coverage, offering far more touchpoints than traditional 4S stores.

The concept of providing intelligent services:

The digital showroom enables personalization based on data and algorithms, decreasing cost of service while enhancing the service quality. This component will improve the digital service ability of traditional 4S stores as well.

The SAIC “Roewe Smart Store” is a new automotive retail concept that focuses on improving the brand recognition, the instore conversion, the overall customer experience and the operational efficiency – all with the common underlying understanding of “Users, Products and Scenarios”.

The showroom’s setup is based on a modular, iterative approach, assuming that the space design and the digital interactions will change over time. The current setting includes key module types as listed below:

Digital passport:

A virtual profile used to bridge and unlock all digital experiences within the store, while accumulating data collected during the user interactions.

Interactive Showroom Modules:

This item includes a variety of digital experiences, such as onscreen interactions, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and so forth, allowing users to go through personal interactions with the brand, while further assets (such as data, photos and videos) are being created.

iPad Smart Assistant:

This solution enables instore staff to access the digital profiles of visitors when consulting with them, while its built-in Augmented Reality (AR) feature delivers additional experiences.

Project Story

In this project, mediaman was responsible for the planning and implementation of the overall showroom strategy and its key modules “Digital passport” and “iPad Smart Assistant”. mediaman assisted SAIC in realizing the core concept of its New Retail undertaking, in implementing the data concept and the overall maintenance strategy.

Digital Passport

The Digital Passport has been setup as a WeChat Mini-Program, which means it is accessed through WeChat. It functions as a showroom tour guide and as a connecting element between all offline and digital experiences. mediaman designed the mini-program to correspond seamlessly with the actual visitor journey. The information architecture, its user interface and the technical implementation were done by mediaman inhouse, as well as the integration with SAIC’s customer data platforms.

The Digital Passport Mini Program is the central tool to get new visitors connected. Users will open the Mini Program as part of the welcome procedure, while being offered overview and detailed guidance on all interactions. The Mini Program is also used to unlock any of the digital interactions and will record the “digital accomplishments” of a visitor. Users can access photos and videos being taken during their visit and share it via social media. For each accomplished module interaction, users are rewarded with points, which can be consumed for products and services offered in the official SAIC APP. At the same time, user profiles are being created and enriched with more data extracted during the visit. This data is used to enter into a follow-up conversations with visitors and to optimize the experiences inside the showroom.

iPad Smart Assistant

The iPad Smart Assistant is a tool supporting the dialogue between a sales person and a customer, which can be tedious and lacking in interaction. The product highlights are featured via embedded Augmented Reality (AR) functionality, while vehicle settings can be configurated in a gamified process, while the user profile is further refined the background.

Augmented Reality (AR) Car Configurator

Using the Augmented Reality (AR) Car Configurator, users can explore the key features of a vehicle through augmented graphics and voiceover sound. The visual layers on top of a car make complex car attributes easy to understand and fun to explore.

In this case, users can even interact with a projected 3D instrument panel as an integrated part of the AR experience.

Other functions

Fun Photos: Users can take high-quality shots with the car for their personal use and to share via social channels.

Financial calculator, test-driving application, new-energy vehicles introduction: Various sales assistant tools can be used to help a sales person introducing the brand, vehicle parameters, the difference between products and a personalized payment plan.

Key takeaway

With its Roewe Smart Store, SAIC has demonstrably established a benchmark for Automotive New Retail in China. The comprehensive showroom concept does not only feature various ways of engagement, but assists users consistently throughout their entire journey, while building up an additional digital asset for the brand: A sophisticated user profile.

With mediaman, SAIC picked a partner that does not only have the strategic mindset, but also the inhouse skills to implement such digital undertaking, from the user experience to a feasible technology and data concept. Within only three months, the store concept and most of its applications were implemented.

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