Skoda Auto DigiLab and Israeli IT start-up Matter have developed a virtual showroom. The new online platform offers customers the opportunity to view and browse vehicles at the dealership as if they were there in person. Tags, videos and audio files provide a plethora of information about each vehicle.
The concept is based on a project from Israeli IT company Matter. At the ‘Covid Mobility Race’ hackathon, the ideas and programming competition run by Skoda Auto DigiLab in 2020, the IT start-up took first place with this solution.
Martin Jahn, Skoda Auto Board Member for Sales and Marketing, said: “Skoda Auto continues to press ahead with the digitalisation of all areas of the business. The virtual showroom gives dealers and importers the opportunity to continue serving their customers even during the Covid-19 pandemic. It offers a glimpse into what the future holds for digital car sales.”
Andre Wehner, Chief Digital Officer at Skoda Auto, added: “The virtual showroom is a direct result of the close collaboration between Skoda Auto DigiLab and the dynamic start-up scene in Tel Aviv. We scout for suitable local partners, combine our expertise and implement projects together – always with the aim of adding real value for our customers. That’s exactly what we’ve accomplished with this new portal.”
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Using the virtual showroom portal, Skoda Auto customers can visit their dealership online 24/7 and view the vehicles on display. They can freely browse the sales area, look at a suitable model at their own convenience and configure it using the online tool. All the necessary information, including technical data of the respective model, is clearly presented, and the vehicle can be viewed from various angles. Prospective customers can also arrange a test drive at the dealership. Thanks to the modular structure of the virtual showroom, the integration of additional elements, such as virtual reality, is also possible.
Depending on the country, the portal will either be provided by the importer or the dealers themselves. A pilot project has already been successfully launched at Israeli Skoda Auto importer Champion Motors. At dealer level, each sales partner can customise the platform and its digital features to meet their needs.
With the virtual showroom, the Czech car manufacturer is creating the conditions for further expanding its customer base while at the same time improving the customer experience in a targeted and continuous manner through direct feedback options.
The platform was built by Matter, an IT start-up from Israel, who won the Skoda Auto DigiLab’s ‘Covid Mobility Race’ hackathon in June 2020 with its concept of the virtual showroom. Participants were asked to develop technologies and tools to help the automotive industry during the pandemic. When implementing the concept of the virtual showroom, Matter used innovative visualisation tools from the real estate business and their own 3D technology.