You can now buy a Mercedes-Benz without leaving the house!
Mercedes-Benz has launched its ‘MercFromHome’ initiative, which is essentially an ecommerce website dedicated solely to buying Mercedes-Benz cars in India. The website is designed to show you all the cars currently available in stock, and replicates the entire dealership experience online, without you having to visit a physical dealership near you. The initiative is a much-welcome one in the wake of the covid-19 crisis, where we are forced to stay at home and social distancing has become the norm.
The whole thing is a rather slick experience. You log on to the dedicated website and follow the instructions on the screen. From a series of drop-down boxes, you pick whether you want a new or pre-owned car, what body style and drivetrain you want, and what city you are in. You are then greeted by a page that lists out all the cars currently available in the vicinity and then its just a matter of deciding which one you want! The ex-showroom prices of every car at every dealership — with details of their interior and exterior trims — are listed down to the last rupee. This makes the process very transparent and saves you the trouble of visiting different dealerships to see where you are getting the better deal. All of this can be done without sharing any of your information with Mercedes-Benz so you don’t have to worry about follow up calls from sales people.
The website provides you everything you would expect at a dealership, without compromise. If you want a personalised car — even an AMG or a Maybach — you can spec it and order it online. You can buy extended warranty, roadside assistance packages, service packages and even finance and insure your cars on the platform. Mercedes-Benz will also provide a virtual consultation if you have any questions about the car, to save you the trouble of visiting a dealership and you can pay online as well. You can, if you choose to, buy a Mercedes-Benz right now without moving from where you are sitting.
However, the offline dealerships are going to remain as plenty of customers still want to test drive a car before they buy it. “We are going to ensure this experience remains. We will not take out this experience online”, said Santosh Iyer, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing when he was live on the #evoConversation segment we host daily on Instagram. About 60 per cent of Mercedes-Benz customers in India want to try out a car before they buy it. So the dealers will find ways of getting the car to you, in the most non-intrusive manner. But simultaneously, the dealerships will still remain completely functional so if you wish, you can go down there and buy the car like you would have any time in the past. The whole idea is to allow transparency and convenience, and then giving the customer the ability to choose how much of the experience he wants to take online.
Industries have faced challenges in the past but never before have they been armed with so much technology to fight the crises. The fact that the internet is so widespread and democratic makes taking the shopping experience online perfect sense. The online shop will make the experience of purchasing a new Merc far more hassle free, and should see plenty of takers as well.