Maruti Suzuki enhances digital transformation boosting online sales

Maruti Suzuki has revealed how technology focus has asisted the the largest carmaker in India to sell 2 lakh cars through online channels.
Maruti technology investmentMaruti started the online sales platform, which is part of the automaker’s digital transformation program, started two years ago. The car market leader’s digital business now covers nearly 1,000 dealerships across the country.

Rajesh Uppal is the chief information officer (CIO) of Maruti Suzuki. Rajesh Uppal, who is responsible for technology deployment, recently said that the company has achieved 25 percent cost reduction by making investment in RPA.

Maruti Suzuki recently said around 95 percent of car sales came from the company’s digital platform, as the customer first researches the car online before going to the dealership, quoting the Google Auto Gear Shift India 2020 report.

Customers get complete information about the car through online platforms. In the end, the customer talks to his trusted dealer advisors about the deal.

“When the new digital channel was launched in 2018, digital inquiries tripled by April 2019 and sales were up by 2 lakh units. 121 lakh customer inquiries were received through this digital channel,” said Shashank Srivastava, executive director, Marketing and Sales at Maruti Suzuki India.

The positive results of the initiatives are evident as digital enquiries for Maruti Suzuki have seen a 5-fold increase to around 20 percent of total sales. In the prevailing COVID-19 scenario, the digital enquiry contribution has further increased exceeding 33 percent during the last 5 months.

Customers who enquire through digital channel end up purchasing a car within 10 days. This reaffirms that with a robust online to offline platform executed by a digitally enabled salesforce, converting digital enquiries into sales becomes easier.

Since, the introduction of this new digital channel in 2018, we have witnessed three times increase in digital enquiries and recorded sales of over 2 lakh units since April 2019. This digital channel has helped to generate over 21 lakh customer enquiries.

Maruti Suzuki witnessed a two-fold increase in Near Me customer searches for Maruti Suzuki dealers. “Our investment to create a hyper-local platform is to help customers discover faster and connect to their nearest dealers. In the last 2 years, we have integrated over 1000 dealerships across 3000 online touchpoints in this digital transformation journey,” Shashank Srivastava said.

The new digital sales experience is personalized for one to one communication with millions of Maruti Suzuki customers. The company has built a strong technology platform that helps the OEM and dealer websites drive synergy and strengthen localized messaging.

The company has partnered with online platforms like Google and Facebook bringing digital expertise to dealer teams. Maruti Suzuki offers training to its dealer partners to upgrade their knowledge of the online platforms. These digital lead management teams have been trained through regular physical and virtual trainings on the finer nuances of managing the expectations of today’s digital savvy customer.

Maruti Suzuki earlier revealed that it sold 393,130 vehicles in quarter 2 (July-September) of FY 2020-21, higher by 16.2 percent compared to the same period previous year. Sales in the Indian car market stood at 370,619 units, higher by 18.6 percent. Exports were at 22,511 units, lower by 12.7 percent.

The company has sold 469,729 vehicles during the first half (April-September) of FY 2020-21, lower by 36.6 percent compared to same period previous year. Sales in the domestic market stood at 437,646 units. Exports were at 32,083 units.

Rajani Baburajan

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