Mercedes-Benz launches ‘Retail of the Future’ strategy
Earlier this year Mercedes-Benz announced its new brainchild — the ‘Retail of the Future’ strategy. We covered some key aspects of this business strategy and how it is going to positively impact not just the customers, but also the dealers and how it will increase transparency in terms of prices and discounts. Mercedes-Benz has now launched its Retail of the Future strategy in India. India is the first CKD country and the fourth country overall to receive this plan. With this strategy, MBIL will take direct control of inventory, processing, deliveries, and prices while retailing will be handled by specially-appointed franchise partners.
As part of Retail of the Future, Mercedes-Benz has divided the process of ‘a seamless customer journey’ into five different steps — quotation, order booking, order finalisation, invoicing, and handover. With ROTF (Retail of the Future), customers now gain access to a national stock list, which will help them select from a wide range of cars and choose the exact model of their choice. The order completion will take place over a period of 14 days by paying a booking amount of Rs 50000, which is fully refundable should the customer decide to back out. For the first time, the VIN number will also be confirmed and shown to the customer during the booking stage itself. Once the booking order gets confirmed and verified, the customer will receive an email from Mercedes-Benz. Customers benefit from a wide range of payment choices in both online and offline modes. There’s also the benefit of zero incidental charges for deliveries within a radius of 100km, while a Gold Package insurance will be offered as standard.
Additionally, Mercedes-Benz has also launched an exclusive Digital Commercial Platform as part of the Retail of the Future strategy, which is essentially an online store where potential customers can book their choice of a Mercedes-Benz on their own by choosing from the available stock and viewing the specifications, variants, and pricing of the car in detail.
As for the dealers, or the franchise partners, as Mercedes-Benz calls them, they will focus on enriching the customer experience further. Franchise partners will compete against each other via customer feedback submitted on their website. Since the inventory will now be owned by Mercedes-Benz, dealers won’t face much risk as they will no longer be forced to push discounts on stock. Dealers will also benefit from the fact that there will be lesser requirement for inventory and warehouse funding.
Commenting on the launch of the ‘Retail of the Future’ strategy, Martin Schwenk, managing director and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India said, “In June 2021, we announced a disruptive retail business model which is highly customer centric and promised a seamless, Omni channel and transparent experience to our customers. Today, we are proud to implement the ‘Retail of the Future’ in India after successfully establishing a robust digital backbone, which will support this significant transition in our retail business. ROTF is a unique customer centric business model, which caters to the evolving trends of our customers, while empowering our Franchise Partners by significantly reducing their financial and operational risks in the market. ROTF further supports our quest toward creating customer excellence as the Franchise Partners will now solely compete on providing a superlative customer experience.”
Mercedes-Benz is growing strong in India as a luxury brand each day. The made-in-India S-Class that has just made its way here has become a lot more accessible to customers than ever before. Additionally, Mercedes-Benz is also planning for a global electric assault, showcasing their readiness for electrification. You might also find the Dreamfest campaign interesting — find out more about it here.