December 1, 2014
Audi of America is demonstrating an interactive digital screen at the Los Angeles Auto Show that will likely become, in one form or another, a common asset within dealerships and showrooms.
The 10- by 25-foot interactive mural is composed of eight distinct screens that merge to form one cohesive layout. As consumers continue to shift the bulk of their purchase journey online, automakers will respond with digitized retail environments that seamlessly bring cross-channel interactions together.
"Interactive screens are the wave of the future," said Lauren Fix, automotive expert, Lancaster, NY.
"Millennials prefer to interact with multimedia interfaces," she said. "It is quite creative that Audi leads the way in this form of technology and communicating with consumers at the auto show."
Ms. Fix is not affiliated with Audi, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Audi did not respond by press deadline.
The brand is debuting the mural at the Los Angeles Motor Show for understandable reasons. Most importantly, the mural will be encountered by troves of eager consumers who will likely give the mural a shot.
In doing so, the brand will be able to gauge engagement levels and also tendencies, so that future iterations can be better tailored to reduce friction.
Also, the auto show will generate plenty of press, further amplifying the reach and getting consumers accustomed to the imminent digitization of stores.
Audi's interactive mural at the LA Auto Show
The Audi mural is equipped with cinematic graphics of the entire Audi line. Up to six people can interact with the mural at once.
Some of the features that consumers can activate include visualizations of Audi vehicles, core technologies and special experiences such as the Audi sportscar experience.
One showcase allows consumers to race the Audi TDI diesel vehicle against a range of competitors.
Audi diesel promotion
Also, consumers can access a configurator through which they can build virtual models.
In addition to the mural, the brand revamped its display area to include multiple LED screens to show brand content and white, glass floors to accentuate the featured vehicles.
Audi continued its shift toward a digital retail experience with its first “Audi City” in Germany earlier in the year.
The virtual Berlin showroom allows consumers to survey the entire Audi portfolio, enabling the brand to minimize retail space and make the experience more immersive. New features at the latest Audi City include 3D virtual viewing of models and the “Audi Select” service (see story).
As Audi of America unifies the digital strategy of its independent dealers, customers are given greater control of their buying experience, according to an Audi executive at Luxury Interactive 2014.
In the past, Audi’s more-than 280 dealers in the United States played a large role in shaping the online experience, resulting in uneven and disjointed experiences, but the brand is switching to a consistent digital strategy that lets online interactions flow seamlessly into any dealer experience. Far from hurting dealer autonomy, the new approach has resulted in empowered sales associates and a greater feeling of brand community (see story).
Joe McCarthy, staff writer on Luxury Daily, New York