Mazda Transforms Web Presence with IBM
IBM has announced that it is helping Mazda North America Operations
transform the way customers buy accessories and service for their
automobiles through a dynamic Web presence able to respond to market
shifts within 15 minutes. As a result, Mazda is reducing costs, saving
time for customers and helping to drive new revenue for itself and its
the purchase of big-ticket items such as automobiles has traditionally
been done in person to let consumers test the performance, comfort and
style of a vehicle before buying, the automobile industry has been
slower to embrace the Web for transaction-based activities. But that is
changing as more dealers realize the potential to deliver detailed
information about vehicles and accessories, including photos, ratings
and reviews, and close sales over the Internet. The goal is to merge the
experience at the dealer location with what can be delivered more
conveniently and efficiently online.
its more than 600 U.S. dealers embrace the Internet, Mazda North
American Operations is working with IBM to make available an easy-to-use
template that helps dealers develop a branded and customized Website in
as little as 15 minutes. Dealers can then add content and sales
incentives, including product descriptions, coupons, promotions and
links to social networking sites, over time. The result is an increase
in both sales as well as customer traffic in dealer showrooms.
template and content management is delivered as part of IBM WebSphere
Commerce, which also manages customer requests and scheduling for car
repair and servicing over the Web. When customers do make it to a Mazda
dealer location, they also find an Internet friendly environment. The
company's "Retail Revolution" showrooms, for example, treat customers to
an upscale lounge with comfortable seating, refreshments and the
ability to browse the Web from PCs stationed at several kiosks.
driving new sales and giving customers greater convenience in buying
accessories and scheduling service, the strong online presence provides a
solid link to Mazda's corporate branding while advancing the
dealership's own identity at the regional and community levels," said James DiMarzio, CIO of Mazda North American Operations.
fully automate the entire online sales cycle, the IBM software connects
to legacy systems for order creation and fulfillment in real-time
through Mazda's distribution center, automating what previously had to
be done manually, reducing errors and ensuring timely delivery of custom
parts and accessories. By linking to Mazda's parts distribution
centers, dealers can access an online catalog of more than 8,000
individual products that is continually updated by Mazda North America.
The system is designed as a "just in time" inventory model that lets
dealers reduce the number of items they need to keep in stock.
convenience to both dealers and customers is the use of PayPal for
payment processing and UPS for order fulfillment. Links to these
services on the dealer Websites give customers a simple and familiar way
to complete transactions. Because it is all automated, dealers enjoy
the "hands off" benefit of not having to process credit cards and
simplified merchandise pick-ups by carriers.
leading organizations place a high value on a superior and consistent
customer experience. They continuously focus on enhancing the customer
brand experience by responding quickly to marketplace changes to
differentiate themselves through more targeted, dynamic marketing. In
order to achieve this, these leaders are increasingly investing in
technology to automate and manage all facets of marketing. As such, they
are reducing costs and time to market as well, giving them the edge in a
fast-paced, competitive market.
the growing demand of marketers to connect with their customers, IBM is
assembling a range of capabilities in business analytics, customer
interactions, and marketing automation that will help companies
accelerate activities across dynamic business networks of prospects,
customers, partners, suppliers, agencies and manufacturers, which will
ultimately enable businesses to respond to market shifts.
About Mazda North American Operations
Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in the United States in 2010, Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.