Retail Next – BMW’s new approach to vehicle sales
BMW is putting the finishing touches on a US showroom revamp with a new design concept. To be deployed on a global scale, Retail Next will be implemented on around 25 sites in a first phase. One of these locations will be BMW’s flagship store in Manhattan, New York.
Retail Next is not only a redesign of the interior space of the dealership, but also a new concept and ideas around the process of ordering a BMW. Going forward, five or six cars will be on display, surrounded by high-end furniture and lounge-style seating. Think of your future BMW dealership as a chic, luxurious boutique hotel with five or six cars on display, surrounded by high-end furnishings and lounge-style seating.
In addition to adopting a new design, dealerships upgraded to Retail Next will no longer have sales advisor booths. Indeed, salespeople will chat with potential customers right next to the cars they want to buy. And that’s the topic we discussed today with Pieter Nota, BMW Board Member for Sales and Marketing.
According to Nota, Retail Next was in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has been accelerated by customer response to the new normal when it comes to ordering a BMW car or SUV. While European customers have been accustomed to ordering the specification of their dreams and waiting weeks or even months for the car to arrive, American BMW customers have been lured by the instant gratification of picking up a dealer-specified car. in the batch. That’s why we often end up with predominantly white, black or gray BMWs.
Nota has noticed a change in customer behavior on this side of the pond over the past few years. Future BMW owners are now ready to order the car with the right features, options and colors, despite the long production lead times. Of course, this will also help BMW’s supply chain, as build-to-order processes are much easier to manage than build-to-stock.
Cars.com conducted a survey last year and 41% of people said they plan to have a vehicle built to order next time. So, according to BMW, the way you buy your car may change in the future, hence the Retail Next initiative.