Rockar showroom by Dalziel and Pow, Bluewater – UK

November 16th, 2014 by retail design blog

Dalziel and Pow has reinvented the traditional car showroom and created a dynamic, digitally enhanced ‘auto boutique’ for new automotive retailer Rockar. Launching its first store at Bluewater shopping centre, the exciting new space offers the Hyundai range. Rockar’s omnichannel model is set to shake up the automotive sector. Emphasising informality and transparency, it allows customers to purchase a new car without ever having to speak to a salesperson if desired. Marking another point of difference, Rockar’s in-store staff – dubbed ‘angels’ – are selected from non-automotive backgrounds and do not work on commission.

Alongside three Hyundai display cars, the 185sqm store is populated with 42 digital screens. These wrap round the entire space and display bespoke content created in-house by D&P. Constantly updating, the screens facilitate a change of pace and atmosphere, and succinctly explain the brand’s proposition, the benefits of buying with Rockar, individual car specifications, pricing and promotions. A central touchscreen table allows customers to browse the full product range and conduct transactions.

Two large screens and a display car in the store entrance act as attractors for the 27 million shoppers passing through Bluewater each year. Thanks to the set back shopfront design, both can be viewed and circulated by mall visitors even when the store itself is closed, creating an out-of-hours brand zone.

The technology instore is used as an enabler, a starter of conversations. From the back wall car finder where the Rockar angels can talk customers through the individual features of the car, and the transparent pricing that is dynamically updated instore and online, through to the connected screens that allow the mood and messaging of the space to change at any time of day.

Notifications such as traffic updates and the location of every test drive car inform customers. Each digital touchpoint has been designed to empower the customer with the details they need to make an informed purchase, as well as equipping the angels with the tools they need to engage and advise. Meanwhile, test-drives, servicing and collection are operated from a scaled-down version of the store conveniently located in the nearby parking area.

Dalziel and Pow’s involvement spanned the brand development and identity, tone of voice, digital design and content, environmental and promotional graphics, and interior design. Our teams’ understanding of both the Rockar and Hyundai brands ensured that both shine in the new, dramatic space and speak with a single, coherent voice.

“We have had the great opportunity to truly develop a brand from scratch, influence everything about the way it speaks, looks and acts, and help it grow into a phenomenally exciting retail proposition that will disrupt a sector desperately in need of change. This is a great day for car buyers everywhere.” Ed Nelson, Associate Design Director, Graphics, Dalziel and Pow The innovative retail model responds to findings that customers visit a car dealership just 1.3 times before purchase.

Driven by the rise in Internet usage and the rise of smart phones and tablets, 93% of all new car buyers conduct research online and now only visit the dealership when they wish to sign on the dotted line.

Simon Dixon, Founder of Rockar said: “I have been working with a dedicated team on this exciting customer proposition for the last two years. It has been driven, not only by our automotive
retail experience, but by extensive customer research and a deep understanding of the evolving retail environment. It is clear from research that customers buying a new car can find it an intimidating process. Rockar’s vision is simple – to ensure that the customer is truly at its heart and feels empowered throughout the process. I am delighted that Hyundai and Bluewater have had the foresight to partner with Rockar on this exciting retail journey.”



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