Volkswagen Brings Online Dating to Customers Searching for a New Car
Volkswagen of America has officially launched its new redesign of VW.com, allowing consumers to shop desired features and instantly connect with dealerships in their vicinity. Interestingly, the site design was influenced by online dating sites, as well as e-commerce. The site now allows consumers to easily shop for the Volkswagen of their dreams, with the color, price and other features, and do so from the available inventory at VW dealerships nationwide—over 80,000 vehicles.
Traditional sites do allow consumers to shop for branded cars and configure their search to their preferences. Unfortunately, the vehicles they choose are not always in stock at a dealership nearby. The VW site will allow consumers to shop for the features they want, and view a variety of cars available at dealerships near them. The site features more than 80,000 “profile” pages—a site feature playing off of popular online dating sites—for in-stock vehicles nationwide. Vinay Shahani, Vice President, Brand Marketing, Volkswagen of America, explained that consumers will have an easier time searching for the car that best meets their needs, because they will not have to be familiar with everything VW has to offer.
With the new VW.com experience, consumers don’t need to know our product lineup to find a car that's right for them. Consumers simply select the features they want, and VW.com instantly connects them to a range of options based on both their needs and available inventory in their area. We’re excited to be at the forefront of this type of online innovation that utilizes a truly intuitive approach.
According to Shahani, consumers are twice as likely to purchase a vehicle when they go to a dealership if they have made the trip because of inventory they researched and found online. By giving consumers this type of search with the new site, VW.com is helping people connect with cars that are actually available to be purchased, he says—basically, they can go to the dealership and feel confident that their time will not be wasted.
What Does a Profile Provide?
Each individual car for sale has a comprehensive profile page with pictures, features, specs, limited warranty, awards, accessories and dealer information—as well as tools, such as a Payment Estimator, on the vehicle detail page where the consumer needs it. Additionally, VW.com was designed for the tablet first, so one of the first things a shopper will notice is a clean, image-rich design that makes it simple to navigate.
All of the images on a car model page reflect the exact colors and features of that particular model. In addition to gallery imagery, 360-degree views and highlighted features, each model page has all available trims linkable to current inventory. Customers can “favorite” individual cars that interest them, and access those vehicles from the main navigation.
Features of the New VW.com Online Experience
- Inventory-led shopping experience: Customers can specify desired features and find cars near them that match their needs from the VW.com inventory of more than 80,000 vehicle profiles.
- Non-linear shopping flow: Customers can find cars through a variety of search capabilities, from style and color (“red convertible”) to specific features (“premium sound”), and each car has its own profile page−not dissimilar from popular dating site profile pages as well.
- Contextual information and tools: Tools such as the Payment Estimator are built into the shopping experience so users don’t need to leave the profile page to get to them.
- Full model line information: Each model page has all available trims linkable to current inventory.
- Feature-focused inventory pages: Certain high-profile features such as Fender® Premium Audio System have their own pages, which also display inventory.
- Real-time feed with Volkswagen news: All VW social content is aggregated into a single interface, so users can keep their finger on the brand's pulse. Content can be sorted by model.
Customers will have a lot to choose from! Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, Eos, Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Passat, CC, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 640 independent U.S. dealers.
Image: Volkswagen via Facebook