What drove an international motor sales franchise to turbocharge its existing bricks-and-motor operations with e-commerce is now reaping strong returns.

During last year’s epidemic-turned pandemic, an international luxury car sales agency with a presence in 50 locations in the UK was hit hard.

Its prestigious brands such as Audi, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, Ferrari, Aston Martin and McLaren were not accessible during lockdowns, and the firm’s online presence was not tooled to bring the car-buying experience online.

With the urgent adoption of digital transformation to facilitate pivoting to e-commerce operations,  Jardine Motors has now reported improvements in their 2020 performance.

Before: the bricks-and-motors model

One of the challenges the firm was facing over the years was the proliferation of customer data across multiple systems. This is common in the automotive industry as manufacturing partners often require dealerships to use certain systems, and there are deep integrations between systems for after-sales service and parts.

As a result, customer data was vastly distributed across dealer management and sales lead management systems, without a unique record for each customer. This made it difficult for the company to offer individualized customer journeys across different channels, including web and social media, and bridge online, in-store, and on-lot customer experiences.

After: a customer-centric e-commerce model

When the pandemic hit hard and fast, the firm made the move to a cloud platform to establish a single view of the customer across multiple systems and also ensure compliance with data protection laws. The resultant e-commerce platforms enabled the various franchisees to sell vehicles end-to-end online.

Furthermore, by creating a single view of the customer, Jardine Motors has been able to deliver strong marketing programs at scale to claw back and boost sales during the global crisis.

The platform is also being used to transform other departments within the organization. For instance, the single customer view has allowed the firm to move customer-complaint handling and fraud processes to the Cloud.

Said Alex Brown, Head of Digital Marketing and Transformation, Jardine Motors Group: “Thanks to Informatica, we have been able to adapt our business to evolve with changing consumer needs. By improving our digital offerings and obtaining a better view of our customers, we have quickly pivoted into e-commerce, which has been vital to offsetting the challenges of in-store and on-lot interactions brought on by the pandemic.”

Brown was referring to an integrated cloud services platform by Informatica that integrates data on the cloud and customer relationship functions in Salesforce.

Said Emilio Valdes, Vice President (EMEA and LATAM), Informatica: “The automotive industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. We are proud to help Jardine Motors adapt to the challenging business environment by swiftly moving almost all of their transactions online.”