BMW is a brand with incredibly strong associations, not only with drivers who consider their natural habitat the fast lane, but with quality. The German car maker is understood to exude quality, expensiveness, and, increasingly, innovation. But as the cars have developed, the showrooms remained much the same, staffed with salespeople hungry for commission.
Change here had to be cultural, Michele Fuhs, the founder of retail consultancy Circle 4X, and concurrently the head of premium retail experience at BMW, told the Omnishopper International conference (Barcelona, November 2017).
One issue that other brands may envy about BMW is the fact that selling cars is quite easy, Fuhs said. And while sales were moving along steadily, they weren't showing the kind of growth the company wanted. Key to this, was that manufacturing innovation was not matched on the showroom floor, arguably the key threshold that oglers needed to cross in order to become customers. Part of the problem was the brick-and-mortar store's inability to stock the entire range of cars, interiors, add-ons and extras.