BMW lets consumers buy a car with their smartphone

BMW has launched a marketing campaign that aims to bridge the gap between the physical and online worlds by letting customers buy a smartphone from their mobile phone as it looks to promote the launch of the first full service online car buying site.

The site, dubbed BMW Retail Online, allows customers to view BMW’s full range of vehicles and specifications, order the car and have finance or part exchange approved. Delivery can also be arranged online, with BMW claiming the process can take as little as 10 minutes.

BMW’s UK brand manager Nicola Green told Marketing Week that the site aims to give consumers the opportunity to purchase a BMW at any time.

“We know how precious people’s time is so BMW Retail Online offers them the opportunity to explore purchasing at any time that suits them, in any place, offering any vehicle they wish from our product range – ultimate flexibility,” she explained.

The site launch is being supported with a digital, outdoor, print and experiential campaign. Created by agency FCB Inferno, an event at Kings Cross will allow consumers to purchase a car using Shazam’s new visual recognition technology.

A large installation at the station will display images of BMW cars, each with a unique Shazam watermark. By scanning a car’s image with their smartphone, consumers will be sent to the relevant page of the website to complete a purchase.

bmw mobile

BMW will also run Shazamable print ads.

“The marketing, like the project itself, aims to bridge the gap between the physical and online space,” said Green.

BMW’s online store has launched initially in the UK ahead of a wider rollout. BMW says 95% of its dealerships will offer the service.

Ian Robertson, member of the board for sales and marketing, says: “We are the first car manufacturer to offer a digital sales solution for the entire product range and the full end-to-end buying or leasing process online. Now, the customer can do it all from the comfort of their home.

“The integration of the BMW Genius via live chat and retailer messaging functions where the customer is able to get personalised support in real time, makes this system unique and a new benchmark for the automotive industry.”

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