Mistral J. Cedanio Rojas

LaCar

The auto-purchasing experience – redesigned to give customers complete control and as little, or as much, contact with a salesperson as desired.

The Design Challenge

In light of the recent pandemic, many things have changed in our lives and our experiences. Brick and mortar and physical retail locations have had to reconsider their marketing strategies and their customer experience. Where before businesses may have relied on in-store experience, not customers are used to more online experiences. One business that is quickly trying to adapt is the automotive industry. Your design challenge for this semester is to consider a holistic solution for a car dealership car buying experience. Do we need to look at the car buying experience in the traditional format that it is in now? or are there ways to uplift and make the overall experience more relevant to today’s shopping and exploring behavior?

What are the problems? What can you help to solve for? What are some initial pain points that you can start to design for? Think of areas of opportunities and how to solve for them.

Approach

  1. Identify stakeholders involved in the experience

  2. Come up with assumptions based on them

  3. Develop the right questions to solve the right problems that can better the car-buying experience

  4. Identify opportunities in the current car-buying experience

How Might We?

How might we provide an efficient, contactless car-buying experience to reduce the stress level for the employee and customer?
How might we adjust the marketing tactics for dealerships to cater to a commuter-minded audience?
How might we improve customer service post-purchase?

Hypotheses

We believe that providing an efficient and contactless process for employees and customers will create a stress-free car-buying experience.
We believe that adjusting marketing channels to cater to a commuter-minded audience for customers will help ease their minds to transition into post-pandemic travel habits and reconsider commuter-style vehicles
(SUV, trucks, etc).
We believe that improving customer service, specifically after purchase, for dealerships and consumers will increase consumer loyalty.

Concept

A portal for users to view or purchase cars available at participating dealerships within a specific radius and to have the option to have cars delivered to test-drive

Research

Goals

To learn what the customer considers an efficient, contactless car-purchasing experience in a post-pandemic world and why 
To gain insight about the consumer’s purchasing habits in order to understand what drives the customer to make decisions when buying a vehicle
To understand the customer service process in dealerships and identify any pain points that might deter consumer loyalty

Methods

Desk Research

  • A Financial Times study found that the consumer sentiment was up to 86.4% in June of 2021, a 10.6% increase from June of 2020
  • This has reflected in car sales revenues, especially used cars
  • Within the next few years, 30% of the used car market will be online
  • However, a Deloitte study found that 64% of consumers are still not comfortable with a full online experience
  • They want to get the touch and feel for it
  • A study ran by Accenture found that price negotiations are the number one cause for customer dissatisfaction, followed by a lack of online options, delivery, configuration, and financing process
  • Dealerships can improve by expanding their online services, providing upfront fixed prices, and product digitalization

Pre-pandemic

  • Automobile brands focused their resources in AR
  • 63% OF CONSUMERS considered switching to ride-sharing
  • Customers want more online options
  • Established operational chain with manufacturers
  • Automotive sales down 4% in 2019

During the pandemic

Safety measures are implemented in dealerships

Appointments

Social distancing / Test-drive home delivery

Online options

Drop in ride-share and public transit

90% drop in rides for Uber and Lyft

72% decrease in public transit usage

Customers look to buy their own vehicles

Used car sales surged 32%

40% increase in vehicle miles traveled from 2020 to 2021

Chip manufacturing shortages

Bottleneck in vehicle manufacturing

Expected to continue through 2022

Inventory shortages

Dealerships struggle to replenish inventory

New car price up 10%

Average used car cost increases 28%

Online Ethnography

Online Community
Car-buying insights
A safe space for users to ask questions in a larger community and get various responses from community
Provides some really good information for community with life hacks
Share insights with others to educate oneself
Great place to understand sales and customers perspective
Customers ask the community for feedback on pricing and how to approach car-buying
Customers post personal experience (positive/negative) for community members to be aware of
Sales Rep post insights of the car industry for the community to reference
Customers do thorough research before purchasing a car

Insight

  • Car-buyers really don’t like haggling
  • Time dictates most decisions
  • Customers prioritize Efficiency
  • Customers prefer white-glove service
  • Reduce stress levels of sale rep so that they can provide optimal service
  • Ticketing system expresses care for customers

How Might We? - Post Research

How might we provide a good deal for a customer without haggling? 

How might we create a car-purchasing experience with seamless communication between the dealership, sales rep and the consumer?

How might we help sales reps create an engaging car-buying experience without being too aggressive?
How might we rebuild trust between customer and dealership?
How might we create a transparent, time-efficient experience for the consumer?

Ideation

Prototyping Methods

Sketching & Role Play

Journey Ideation with Dramatic Arcs (Emotional Journey)
Journey Ideation with Dramatic Arcs (Emotional Journey + Dramatic Journey)
Sketches and Storyboard

Moodboard

Prototyping

Service Blueprint

Phases

Pre-portal
Using LaCar
Test-drive
Purchasing Process

Conclusion

LaCar creates benefits for all stakeholders involved –

 

the consumer,
the sales representative,
the dealership,


and more.

Through seamless communication, LaCar builds trust between the consumer and dealership by removing haggling and, instead, creating an engaging, transparent
car-buying experience in an optimally, more time-efficient way.