Hyundai and Amazon Ads want to make car buying as easy as buying a TV
December 03, 2021 | By: Matt Miller, Sr. Copywriter
From research to test driving to budget considerations, loan qualifications, and contracts—buying a car can often be a daunting process for many people. Or perhaps more accurately: “What many people hate about buying a car is buying a car,” said Angela Zepeda, Chief Marketing Officer for Hyundai Motor America.
That’s why, this year, Hyundai worked with Amazon Ads to help push the process of buying a car into our modern, digital era to help reach customers where they like to shop today. In October, Hyundai debuted its Evolve showroom on Amazon, where shoppers can browse makes and models and begin the selection process, all from the comfort of their own homes.
“Shopping for a car is complex, it’s scary for some people. What can I afford? Will I be embarrassed if I don’t qualify? There’s a lot of psychology that goes into purchasing cars,” Zepeda said. “If they can do that from the privacy of their home, and have the confidence when they’re ready to buy, and do this within the trusted Amazon environment—that’s a win, win. We’re just making that car buying experience as easy as buying a TV.”
In 2016, Hyundai experimented with a program that allowed customers to schedule car test drives on Amazon. A driver would show up to a shopper’s home at the given time for a test drive with new Hyundai vehicle. “That idea got a huge response. Customers loved it,” Zepeda said.
What Hyundai found with this campaign was that Amazon customers were eager for modern ways to shop for cars. With that in mind, Hyundai wanted to do more to connect with customers on Amazon and make that car shopping experience even easier. Hyundai worked with Amazon’s Custom Ads and Automotive Experiences teams to develop the Evolve showroom. With this virtual showroom, Hyundai shows its dealership inventory on Amazon’s store, where customers can browse models, customize interiors and colors, estimate payments, then contact a local dealer where they can make a transaction.
“It’s been remarkable. People think it’s cool. They love it,” Zepeda said. “The response from Hyundai customers has been overwhelming.”
According to Zepeda, nearly 1 million shoppers reached Hyundai’s site from the Amazon showroom in just the first month. Hyundai’s site has also seen 90% scroll depth and engagement time is up 142%.1
A new study from Amazon Ads and Environics Research shows that an overwhelming majority of consumers (95% US/92% Europe) want to decide when and where they interact with a brand.2 As Zepeda explained, this digital showroom helped bring customers an omni-channel experience where they’re already shopping.
“Consumers really want to have a great digital experience. What we like about being on Amazon is that people are already in that shopping mode,” Zepeda said. “It’s making consumers feel very confident about what they’re purchasing. And that’s great because I think there was a lot of opacity in the past.”
– Angela Zepeda, Chief Marketing Officer, Hyundai Motor AmericaThis is about being very transparent, and I think that’s what people are really looking for.
Zepeda added that it was important to offer this type of digital showroom to customers during a time when they might not be visiting dealerships in person.
“The pandemic drove exponential behavior change, not just with consumers but with dealers as well,” Zepeda said. “Dealerships are an important part of this process, and the pandemic became this gigantic challenge for them all to overcome. Some were shuttered down completely or unable to do business as they traditionally had.”
According to Zepeda, it was important to keep driving customers to these dealerships. And these dealerships loved the digital showroom, Zepeda said.
“Dealerships are excited to be on Amazon. They’ve been transformed. They thought it was fantastic and very forward looking,” she said.
And customers are responding positively, too.
“The whole process has changed. People still do like going to the dealership, but they like to take care of a lot of the process ahead of time. We think this hybrid model is going to last. And who knows what the next iteration could be,” Zepeda says.
Learn more about car marketing and Amazon Ads’ solutions for automotive brands.