On Friday, Nissan India launched a virtual sales advisor for people who wish to buy the company’s Magnite sub-4 metre SUV. A virtual sales advisor is an industry-first initiative, Nissan said that it provides “expert advice through guided car exploration.”
This virtual advisor gives prospective customers real-time personalised product expert interaction (providing information about the vehicle), answers product- and ownership-related queries, suggests variants, offers financing and exchange value options, gives virtual test drives, as well as lets them book the car online. Essentially, it’s an end-to-end informational and transactional assistance in the customer’s buying journey.
“The pandemic has challenged the traditional way of customer engagement. Nissan innovated with ‘virtual showroom’ and ‘virtual test drive’ during the launch of the Magnite. The ‘virtual sales advisor’ is the way forward towards transparent, flexible and convenient buying experience,” said Rakesh Srivastava, managing director, Nissan Motor India.
The platform also enables customers to invite friends and family to join sessions in real-time to explore the Magnite together from the convenience of their homes; prospective customers get a personalised Magnite brochure at the end of the session.
The brain behind this industry-first initiative is Eccentric Engine, a technology incubator and the creator of One 3D Visualisation Platform, founded by Gaurav Rane and Varun Shah.
Varun Shah, co-founder & CEO of Eccentric Engine, told FE that this is a first-of-its-kind digital platform with embedded native experience by any automotive company globally and outlines new possibilities to drive automotive retail innovations. “We call this product as ‘Concierge’. After successfully creating the 3D Configurator and 3D commerce platforms for the Magnite, the Concierge is a testament of our growing partnership and will go a long way in humanising and accelerating the vehicle buying process in real-time,” Shah said.
Car purchase, he said, is not an impulse purchase, but a rational decision—there is a human element as well, and buyers often tend to remember the name of the salesperson who sold the car.
After the pandemic, with digital car sales taking off, a buyer usually starts conversation with the salesperson 5-30 days after having explored the car digitally. “Our aim is to reduce that time to less than 10 minutes,” Shah said. “We are tech-enablers, and we immediately connect the customer with the salesperson.”
Eccentric Engine has developed this solution keeping ‘reality’ in mind; for example, the virtual display of a car must load in less than 5 seconds at current data speeds, and that’s why it has kept the size of the display under 10 MB. Also, it works on all browsers.
Shah digitally showed FE the exterior and interior of a car, and these are as close to the real car as possible—including different colour schemes and the different trims available. “We take digital visuals from OEMs when the car has got readied, and process these visuals on our platform,” he said.
After the Magnite, this solution can also be developed for other carmakers and brands.
In 2020, as many as 76 lakh Indians chose to experience the features of their next car in 3D on the internet. This is more than a 300% growth in exploration than 2019, a trend analysis by Eccentric Engine has revealed.
“This has increased even further in 2021,” Shah added. “By intuitively integrating the real and digital worlds with One 3D, we have created an unprecedented level of customer engagement for our OEM partners to understand evolving consumer needs, and help them serve their customers better by offering world-class product visualisation that can personalise their buying experience.”
Eccentric Engine is currently working with 10 OEMs, including Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, MG Motor, Citroen, Toyota, Mahindra and Nissan, and two new two-wheeler companies are on board, as is one OEM in the commercial vehicle space. It has a team of 60 professionals in India and research centres for One 3D Product Development in Europe and Russia.
Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.