What do you think of when you hear "Used Car Shopping"? You probably cringe a little as you conjure up an image of a salesperson who might three parts smarmy, slippery and dishonest. And then there's the idea of walking a used car lot and wondering if something is wrong with the vehicle, has it been in an accident, how close is it to being out of warranty, will it last more than a month once you drive it off the lot. Sounds like fun, right? Who wouldn't want to go used car shopping?!
With stress and an untrustworthy perception of the industry on the rise, Sonic Automotive recognized the need to revolutionize the pre-owned auto industry. They were seeking ways to redesign the buying experience through detailed customer research, design to match and plans to scale country-wide. The answer – EchoPark – a state of the art, friendly, trusting, technology-forward, revolutionary used car dealership experience
Understanding their Pain Points
Work began with extensive customer research in order to understand the customer mindset and identify pain points along the buying journey. The research included: customer insights, secret shopper learnings & retail trends.
The learnings gathered helped pave a path for a strategy based around meeting guests' needs. Pairing experience touch points that meets guest needs at each step keeps the experience friendly, informed and enjoyable, resulting in increased customer trust and long term relationships with Sonic.
Seamless Digital and Design
The contemporary colors, couches and open feel bolsters welcoming conversation and encourages dialogue about the buyers' needs. The digital strategy includes well informed sales staff armed with tablets and other tools that help them pinpoint customer needs, enabling them to assist consumers anywhere on the premises.
And it's not technology for technology sake. It's seamless within the environment and encourages customers to shop at their own pace, improving the experience and building trust.
Built for Ease and Scale
The first store opened in November 2014 in Denver in just 18 months. WD Partners also produced comprehensive design details and guidelines. This playbook helps us for future store development, which has allowed for reduced development time, streamlined brand standards and maintenance facilities to efficiently adapt to site specific requirements.
The result: not simply the execution of a store, but the creation and growth of a brand with consistency and scale in mind.