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The automotive sector has had to evolve to meet the expectations of consumers who are becoming consistently more digital.
A key topic that has been addressed in the automotive sector is that of connected vehicles. Features of connected vehicles enhance the customer journey through better connection before, while, and after driving the vehicle. The features can also provide a seamless experience connecting onboard and offboard environments.
Today, some connected services are widely deployed by all car manufacturers (eg. real-time traffic information). There are also more exclusive or state-of-the-art services that only some original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have deployed. These include advanced technology for specific functionalities (eg. embedded virtual personal assistants).
From a commercial standpoint, there are several ways for OEMs to sell connected services. They can be pushed to clients as an option in addition to the car price, as a subscription during the vehicle’s lifecycle that could be taken by someone else than the first owner, or even through data monetization. These three revenue streams represent a market estimated to value 200 billion euros by 2025.
In order to secure additional revenues from connected services, OEMs often need to build partnerships with Cloud specialists to propose new services. These partnerships can help address both BtoC and BtoB use cases. Thanks to the data collected in real-time, OEMs can address a wider scope of potential customers.
The communication around the benefits and innovative aspects of connective services needs to be improved. This is a prerequisite challenge with smartphone replication; an easy way for vehicle users to stay connected while onboard, within an applicative ecosystem that is already familiar to them. It is one of the main challenges faced by OEMs, especially in countries where smartphone replication is almost free and data is low cost.
In order to tackle smartphone replication, thorough communication around connected services must be ensured. OEMs need to address the customer journey with an omnichannel perspective to improve the understanding of connected services, from discovery to usage. For example, connected services should be promoted before the purchase process through websites and by sellers. The benefits should also be communicated while the customer is waiting for delivery. Once the vehicle is delivered, customers should be given guidance on how to properly use the connected services to fully understand the added value they provide. This should in turn increase the customer’s willingness to pay the additional cost for the services.