Custom Cars: Audi Debuts Digital Showroom, London
German vehicle manufacturer Audi’s new London showroom aims to offer customers a brand new experience, courtesy of some serious digital innovation.
Located in Piccadilly, the compact showroom (approximately 450 sq m) has been dubbed Audi City and is the first of its kind for the brand. Giant digital screens allow customers to browse vehicles from the brand’s entire range right down to the most detailed specifications. Using the 1:1-scale screens, consumers are able to create their own ideal vehicle specs from a range of in-depth options.
According to the brand, allowing the consumer to see hidden details such as the drivetrain (power-generating mechanisms), lighting technology or shell of the vehicle offers a vital level of transparency and “makes innovations understandable on an intuitive level”.
The additional beauty of the technology is that it allows consumers, even within the confines of a relatively limited space, to get up close to the product in a way that has never been possible before – a major bonus for any brand looking to avoid the overheads associated with retailing in expensive city centres.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, head of marketing and sales at Audi, says: “This new retail format brings us even closer to our customers – geographically, of course, but first and foremost in terms of the quality of our relationship. Audi City offers new freedom for tailor-made services and an even more individual contact with the customer."
Audi has already announced plans to open 20 more city-centre stores worldwide by 2015.
For a deeper insight into how a new generation of bricks-and-mortar stores are using playful methods of in-depth product experimentation to enhance brand value, see our report Future Stores: Brand Hubs and Product Playgrounds.