Amazon launches Amazon Vehicles
We are experiencing a new chapter in the world of automotive distribution with the launch of Amazon’s new online car shopping tool, Amazon Vehicles.
Amazon Vehicles can be regarded as a giant car configurator and data bank where all vehicles from the U.S. market from 1996 to 2017 are referenced.
Visitors have the ability to do a multitude of things. Each model of each brand:
- Can be configured (finishes, versions, engines, colors)
- Can be added to the visitors “garage”, grouping all saved configurations by the user.
- Can boast a complete datasheet with all manufacturer’s suggested retail prices
In addition, owners can leave their opinions and leave a review of the vehicle. Interested buyers can field questions to current owners as well. These same owners can access the “parts and accessories” shop dedicated to their model.
In summary, it appears that the Amazon customer experience that shaped what Amazon is today has now been introduced in the automotive vertical. However, for the time being, it is not possible to purchase the actual vehicle on their platform. On the other hand, it would seem that Amazon only needs to build partnerships with dealerships to be able to execute the purchasing process. The question of cost per lead would then be at the center of negotiations.
But that’s not all. Amazon making ground in the automotive vertical does not stop there: the e-commerce site also offers a ‘book a test drive from home’ option. In partnership with Hyundai, people that are interested in the new Elantra and are subscribed to Amazon Prime (which offers fast delivery) could register for a test drive directly from Amazon. A test vehicle is shipped to them for free, to be tried for 45 – 60 minutes at home. After the test drive, potential buyers are then directed to the nearest dealership.
Boasting an exceptionally strong savoir-faire in the e-commerce space, it will be interesting to see how Amazon continues to enter the automotive industry going forward.