So, perhaps not exactly hot off the press, but having dropped by the Hyundai store at Stratford’s Westfield complex (worth a visit in it’s own right), here’s the thing.
It really isn’t any surprise that the place is doing as well as reported, given the simplicity of what it delivers – a straightforward and strikingly effective experience, designed around demonstrating the product and getting you in it – fast.
The store (or shop, actually) offers a very compact footprint: no lounge or refreshments, no consultation rooms (or desks and chairs with flat screens), plants or cabinets of indifferent merchandise.
No cardboard POS, tyre displays, brochure racks or print of any kind.
No stickers on the display cars. No accessories and price sheets or other merchandise.
If that sounds rather trite, or a mistake, or not worth your time, think again.
The means by which you can get into a Hyundai is so simple. Any friction that ordinarily slows the moment between arrival and test drive is all but eliminated, so the memory you’re left with is the shear ease of it all.
The cars on display are all switched on and so feel far more the hero than usual. They’ve actually become the centre of attention, rather than looking like storage.
The coffee-bar integrated screens that take you through the choices are equipped with superfast interfaces, paired down UX designs that appear specifically planned for the store (rather than simply displaying the website).
I discovered finance possibilities that have never been as clearly explained, by the Rockar ‘Angels’ (as I gather they’re unfortunately named), who’s help was offered only after I’d been taking a look around and had used the screen myself.
They offer a test drive, unaccompanied, for up to an hour, on the spot, from the demonstration fleet housed in Westfield’s car park. They have trackers on the cars, so they know where you’re heading, apparently.
The hook back to my details (I deferred the offer of a drive) arrived in my mail and with the log-in I was back to all my details the day after.
If anyone was looking for hints to how network planning could help reach more prospective customers (and those who want to avoid the dealership), Rockar offers an excellent introduction to ways of retailing – not in some imaginary future. But right now.