The Coventry-based car maker will offer customers the option to buy their car entirely online, accompanied by a dealership at Westfield Stratford, London where customers will be greeted by so-called ‘angels’ who are described as “non-selling product experts”.
According to JLR, the new service has been developed “in response to changing demands from its customers”.
The 15 ‘Angels’ can offer advice as well as help customers use the in-store configurators and show them around six display cars, which will be both Jaguar and Land Rover models. They are then able to complete their purchase on the accompanying website – in store or at home.
However, JLR adds that there is no need to visit the physical store, as the website allows customers to browse models, book test drives, specify your car, arrange finance and trade in your car.
The digital offering will launch in early September alongside a service centre near Stratford which will prepare new cars for delivery and manage part-exchanges. The Westfield Stratford store is due to open in early October.
When asked why JLR chose Westfield Stratford as a location, a spokesman said: “The Stratford area was already an open point in our retail network, and there is clearly exciting potential around the Westfield shopping complex, so we have the right opportunity, in the right location, at the right time, with the right partner.”
The car marker would not disclose predicted targets for online purchases of its models.
Rockar’s previous experience with Hyundai has found that 54% of its buyers have been women and the average age of customers has been 39 years old. It has also seen 60% of buying customers leaving the store and completing purchases online later.
JLR boss Jeremy Hicks said: “Our retailers are investing £1bn in the UK network and our partnership with Rockar presents some of the incremental new, innovative solutions that we are introducing to engage and service our customers.”
Rockar’s founder Simon Dixon added: “At Rockar, we’ve turned new car buying on its head and created a whole new way of buying a car. Our research has revealed that customers in today’s digital age are looking for an easier way of buying cars, more aligned to how they shop for their clothes, foods and gadgets.”
Hyundai launched its digital car buying service in conjunction with Rockar in November 2014, supported by a physical site at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent. Following its success, the Korean brand opened a second Rockar-branded store in Westfield Stratford – the same location as JLR’s upcoming store.