SAP Commerce Cloud is the backbone of all e-commerce transactions of smart Europe including product configuration and payment processes.
A recent Deloitte study focused on electric mobility, mobility services, and consumer preferences when purchasing a vehicle revealed that despite the skyrocketing e-commerce during the pandemic, the majority of car buyers still prefer the physical shopping experience of buying directly from authorized dealers. However, there is also a growth opportunity in virtual purchasing as the surveyed consumers have found increasing value in the convenience and user-friendliness of buying online. China (23%), South Korea (22%), and India (21%) prefer to purchase their next car by combining physical and virtual purchasing processes.
smart Europe GmbH (smart Europe), a global smart joint venture between Geely Holding (Geely) and Mercedes-Benz AG (Mercedes-Benz), formally registered as ‘smart Automobile Co. Ltd.’ (smart) in Hangzhou Bay, Ningbo, China, sees the same trend in the automobile industry, especially for the Direct-to-Consumer vehicle market.
Björn Schick, CXO and member of the executive board of smart Europe, detailed:
“Our assumption is that there will always be people who visit physical dealerships to “feel” a car and test-drive it. But it won’t be long before they become the minority and more people start configuring and ordering their cars online – in just a few quick steps.”
As a global pioneer in urban mobility with a focus on supplying, selling, and servicing new-generation vehicles, smart Europe is driving innovation in the industry by providing a new business model that would cater to emerging climate-conscious, city-dwelling, digital consumers.
SAP Commerce Cloud Advancing Business Processes and CX Journey
Schick highlighted that smart Europe aims to reinvent and recalibrate the company’s dealership model with car dealers remaining a key element in its sales strategy. Harnessing a new e-commerce platform powered by SAP Commerce Cloud, the relatively new company intends to bring car buyers’ shopping experience to the next level.
SAP Commerce Cloud is a cloud software solution specifically designed for large enterprises with advanced B2B, B2C, and B2B2C use cases. The modern, scalable e-commerce platform enables companies to build customer loyalty, enhanced customer experiences, and drive growth by simplifying the selling and buying processes.
“Our business model is based on direct business with consumers, whom we address through an omnichannel approach so that we can sell our cars virtually and physically on a single platform,” he said. “SAP Commerce Cloud lets us map all the country-specific tax and legal requirements so that we can manage all the processes for our business across Europe on a single platform.”
smart Europe’s e-commerce platform can be accessed by its employees, car dealers, and even by repair shops to share pertinent customer data. As SAP Commerce Cloud natively integrates with SAP Customer Data Cloud, the new platform has the capability to deliver hyper-personalized content on the front end such as relevant data per country and customer segment creating a more detailed customer profile. Moreover, the two SAP solutions serve as the foundation not only for authenticating and verifying customers but also for managing customer consent.
In addition, smart Europe also leverages SAP Customer Identity and Access Management solutions for customer consent statements in compliance with GDPR (the EU General Data Protection Regulation) and the SAP Digital Vehicle Hub application as the digital twin of a smart car, providing 360-degree visibility into both the customer and their vehicle.
“This shows that the new platform is much more than a marketing and sales tool. It is practically part of the product,” stressed Schick.
“Having opportunities like this on the horizon makes working with SAP particularly compelling. We’re on an innovation journey, interacting closely with SAP on what else the solutions might be able to do in the future,” he added.