The utopian digital future we all envisioned in the 50’s is finally upon us! Shiny black slates of metal and glass make our lives easier; they streamline our jobs and tell us what to cook for dinner. It won’t be long before we’re all watching telly on our phones, calling people from our TVs and reading the latest vehicle related news on a fancy doo-hickey known as a BLOG. I bet you can’t wait. As technology crawls, like a spidery Steve Jobs, into every aspect of our lives, the conventions we took for granted are slowly becoming a thing of the past; like speaking to people, good music and most recently of all, car showrooms. Yes Audi are the latest innovators in the selling-vehicles-space, as they unveil the first of their digital car showroom units – the future of car buying? Find out!
Retail is a difficult place to be at the moment, and that stands in regards to any industry, though especially if your shop is called HMV. With the world moving online and many considering the high street to be the sole retreat of people that know a lot about the Battle of Trafalgar because they were there, it’s tough times for those sticking to bricks and mortar across the board.
When it comes to cars, the requirement for a brand’s presence is even larger so, both in physical space, and importance. Ensuring customers have somewhere to go, to see the cars and negotiate a sale is the backbone the industry stands tall upon, yet the huge unit space required for real showrooms and a forecourt limits space and leaves the busy high street a no-go when it comes to catchment.
Audi though, are set to change all this, with their showroom of the future.
The ‘Audi City Digital Showroom’, as it is known, is a unit made up of a number of interactive devices, screens and even entire walls. The wealth of technology on offer in each is truly disparaging to anyone who doesn’t currently own at least seven iPads, whilst the manner with which you communicate with the technology is also astounding, from pressure pads to motion sensing cameras similar to Microsoft’s ‘Kinect’ hardware, as well as touch screen interfaces and tactile exhibits.
On the walls, life size renders of the Audi’s latest offerings appear, and as you stroll around the pressure-sensitive flooring, the selection will change, allowing you to get some exercise whilst you choose your model. Once you’ve settled on one, you’re teleported over to the control station (that was a lie, you have to walk, sorry) which features a number of touch screen interfaces resembling large computer tablets. From here you can swipe, pinch and swivel your way to a completely customized Audi, selecting everything from engine size to alloy type and finish.
With a range of off-the-wall tiles that give you a non-digital idea of the colour, placing these next to the station will allow you to see your vehicle in that particular finish.
Finally, with your chosen vehicle, your customized specs and colour, you’re free to take away all that information on a USB pen drive, to make purchase quick and simple! Snazzy, effective and fun.
So what does this mean for Audi’s retail presence? It means they’ll have one. This style of showroom could be anywhere, no longer tied to the necessity of a forecourt the size of Barton-on-the-Neys, Audi can present their brand, on the high street, right next to Wilkinson’s, Millets and a shying HMV. With hands on experience that people will want to use solely for the sake of using it, the opportunity for sales in these new showrooms is huge and could well pave the way for future car sales!
With each store linked to a dealership, getting hold of the new vehicle should be just as simple as ordering through an ordinary showroom, but undoubtedly fancier. So would you prefer an outskirts specialist dealer, with the real thing, or an easy access inner city retail shop with all the latest techno-gadgetry that merely gives you pre-rendered, customizable images? Head to London to go hands on with the Audi City today!
This article was written by Rob Vicars on behalf of Insure 4 a Day; wherever you choose to get your new vehicle from, covering it for select periods of time is a constant necessity, and easier than ever with the experts at Sky Insurance!