Aston Martin launches online retail configurator
28 July 2021
Luxury carmaker Aston Martin has launched a new online retail configurator. The digital tool allows customers, dealers and fans to customise varients of the DBX, DB11, DBS and Vantage models. This plays into the OEM’s larger ‘Project Horizon’ transformation plan, looking to refresh the customer journey.
The automotive industry has always placed enormous value in its physical showrooms. But when COVID-19 locked these spaces down, the importance of online platforms became apparent. These digital tools have proved engaging and some are finding a permanent spot on the sales toolbelt.
3D ultra-high definition
Based on MHP’s Elastic Content Platform and powered by Epic Games’ Unreal Engine and Nvidia RTX on Google Cloud, Aston Martin’s new configurator looks to simplify the specification process. It allows users to flexibly and conveniently customise vehicles anywhere they can access the internet.
Using 3D ultra-high-definition environments, the configurator provides detailed renderings of the customised vehicle, while laying out cinematic backdrops, from a real location to a studio setup. Both the exterior and interior can be given unique stylings, with a 360° view outside the car.
The tool boasts a full suite of personalised offers and unique options as well as an extensive range of paints, materials and trims, including the luxury ‘Inspire’ interior, the assertive ‘Accelerate’ layout, and the unique ‘Create’ environment.
At any point in the online process, users can schedule an online session with their local dealer to assist them with the configuration. They will also be able to download a personalised brochure, share their customised model online and book a test drive.
‘We will go above and beyond to deliver perfection to our customers,’ said Tobias Moers, Aston Martin CEO. ‘The experience of buying an Aston Martin should be as pleasurable as owning one and our new configurator has been created with this in mind.
‘Our customers are very busy people, so it is our job to make the buying process as simple and as enjoyable as possible. This new configurator does that. Like many businesses, a proportion of our customers switched over to online buying during the pandemic, so we have improved this process to allow remote customers to receive the full Aston Martin experience,’ Moers added.
Taking advantage of traffic
Last year, the configurator saw over two million sessions, with this number expected to grow in 2021. Since the beginning of this year’s Formula 1 season, the carmaker’s website has seen high levels of traffic. On race day in Bahrain, the configurator saw its highest daily organic traffic since the launch of the DBX in 2019. Every time the Vantage safety car or the DBX medical car appeared on screen, the website saw a spike as fans logged in to the configurator.
Now, the luxury carmaker is using its tool to reveal next year’s model updates. For example, users can access both the more powerful coupé and Volante variants of the 4-litre DB11 as well as the V12 coupé version.
Aston Martin is also looking to simplify some of its naming nomenclatures, making its site more straightforward in the process. The V12 DB11 has dropped its ‘AMR’ badge. Additionally, the Super GT will now be known as the DBS, losing its ‘Superleggera’ badge. Autovista24 journalist Tom Geggus customised a DBS coupé with the configurator, click here to see it.
Carmakers might be breathing a sigh of relief as showrooms reopen, but they are not forgetting about online tools. These digital platforms make brands more accessible, encouraging customer interaction and excitement.
OEMs are realising that the online world is not a threat to dealerships, but a valuable tool. This means companies like Unreal Engine, who already support the likes of Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Chevrolet, Mclaren and Pagani, will see a lot more trade from carmakers in the future.