Summit and Rockar in world first for the automotive industry

Posted: Wednesday 5th November 2014 in eCommerce Technology, News, Retail Strategy.

How Summit created an eCommerce platform that realised Rockar’s vision of making car buying as easy as buying a mobile phone

Summit a part of world first in automotive

Watch the news report from the new Hyundai Rockar digital showroom

London, 6 November, 2014 – Today Summit and Rockar launch a world first –, an eCommerce site that allows people to buy a car online in minutes without having to deal with sales people.

Hyundai Motor UK saw the potential in the idea and are the first automotive brand to partner with Rockar. Hyundai kicked off the launch today with the opening of a digital showroom in Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.  The digital showroom is manned by Rockar angels that can guide customers through purchasing a car on the Rockar Hyundai site.

Rockar’s concept is based on a vision of making car buying less intimidating and more efficient using eCommerce technology. The online platform covers every aspect of buying a new car – researching, financing, evaluating, creating and purchasing a new Hyundai, in-store or at home, with no obligation to talk to anyone.

Customers purchase a car in the Hyundai Rockar showroom in Bluewater shopping centre

Touch screens in the Hyundai Rockar Showroom allow customers to purchase a car in minutes

Rockar founder Simon Dixon says: “Our independent research has revealed that almost 40% of Britons are more likely to buy a car if they can avoid talking to salesmen. Almost half say they’d be more likely to buy a car if it was as easy as buying clothes, food and gadgets.”

Rockar had the vision but they turned to online retailing specialists Summit to develop the concept into a working reality. Summit created a platform enabling consumers to input various factors including details of their current car – so the system can generate a part exchange value –  buying power, intended mileage, financing options and preferred repayment period.

This provides a list of potential cars, the consumer then chooses specifications such as colour, fuel type and transmission. Any of the variables can then be adjusted to instantly see how that affects the choice of car and ultimately the cost.

“When Simon first came to us, Rockar existed as an idea based on many years of experience as one of the UK’s biggest car dealers,” explains Ben Latham, Head of Digital Strategy at Summit. “The first few months of the project were spent qualifying that idea with customer research and then fleshing out the business plan to understand how to bring the idea to reality. As this was a world first, significant time was spent getting the user journey right and testing various user experiences.

The first Hyundai Rockar digital car showroom

The new Hyundai Rockar digital showroom at Bluewater Shopping Centre Kent

“The key technical challenge was integrating information from three key groups – car manufacturers, valuation companies and finance houses – and dynamically displaying the results in real-time as customers change the variables. It ended up being one of the most complex systems ever built on the Magento platform.”

Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor UK, commented: “Rockar Hyundai is exciting and innovative. It utilises the latest technologies to make life easier for car buyers. Traditional car dealerships will always have a vital role to play in the car buying and ownership experience. However, this online and in-store option gives customers another choice to fit around their busy lives.

Dixon explains how this will boost the auto industry: “The way the Rockar platform displays the information shows how owning a new car is much more within reach than most consumers think – the monthly cost can be as little as 2-3 times their mobile phone plan.

Furthermore, digital showrooms in shopping centres will dramatically increase ‘casual researchers’. People who’d never consciously make a decision to travel to out of town dealerships can now stop in and buy a car, and have it serviced, in-between buying groceries, visiting the cinema or lunching with friends.” was built and designed by Summit with Dalziel Pow completing the brand and design elements.

If you’d like to know more about Summit’s online retailing and eCommerce expertise, email Neil Collins or call on 0203 428 5307.

Watch a news report on the launch of Rockar and the Hyundai Rockar showroom at Bluewater Shopping centre

Read about the Rockar launch in the press:

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