Disruptive ownership model
INEOS Automotive, a subsidiary of global manufacturing giant INEOS Group, was set up to develop, build, and market the INEOS Grenadier. INEOS Automotive differs from existing OEMs by offering customers a disruptive, direct-to-consumer purchase and ownership experience.
“We wanted to give customers the choice of how much they wanted to see us, which means providing a full combination of digital and physical options,” said Matt Dunnakey, Global Head of Marketing at INEOS Automotive. “Customer convenience, parts availability, service quality: we are focusing on getting the basics right, giving customers the buying experience they want and the aftersales support they need. If preferred, customers in our main markets will be able to buy their Grenadier online, including organizing vehicle finance and handling any part exchanges. But we fully accept that most will want to try before they buy, for which having an extensive network on the ground is essential.”
The company needed to turn INEOS Automotive into a credible customer-facing brand and apply innovative, unorthodox thinking to create a unique, direct-to-customer purchase and ownership experience using a digital-first model. INEOS chose Sitecore as the foundation on which to build its digital experience platform.
Seamless, integrated digital experience
In partnership with Sitecore business partner, EPAM, INEOS Automotive successfully implemented a Sitecore digital platform as a managed cloud deployment, delivering a seamless, integrated digital experience, connecting web, mobile, CRM, social, and a vehicle configuration tool. The technology underpins a digital program to market and launch the INEOS Grenadier in over 30 global markets, supported by agent and dealer/distributors in 36 countries.
The INEOS Grenadier website is built in a headless configuration using JSS services on Sitecore Experience Platform (XP). INEOS Automotive has integrated Sitecore with key business applications such as its ERP system and Azure B2C. Other integrations include SAP C4C and Salesforce for lead and case management and S/4 Hanna for the vehicle configuration and build management. There are regional sites for the 36 countries selling and distributing the Grenadier.
The digital platform has enabled INEOS Automotive to communicate new product features and differentiators such as emotional, relatable, and personalized experiences and an 'open the garage door’ strategy. Site visitors can see key design decisions, sales and service partner networks, and real-world applications. As the website is framed around the vehicle configurator, customers feel real ownership of their Grenadier 4x4 as they build it.
Sitecore and EPAM are helping INEOS Automotive to develop a cult following with emotional, relatable experiences. The configurator lets customers feel real ownership for their vehicle, while a Grenadier gallery and stories provide inspiration and customer endorsements that help build trust.
Dramatic uplift in interest
The connected, multi-channel digital platform based on Sitecore enables customers to move through the end-to-end learn, purchase, and after-sales journey. A month after the website was ready to take pre-build orders, there was a 455% increase in website conversion to purchase. In the 12 months leading up to launch, site visits have increased 925% and time spent on the site has increased by 210%.
These improvements in website activity led to a dramatic uplift of interest in the Grenadier. When INEOS Automotive invited customers to make a vehicle reservation in September 2021, 75,000 site visitors registered an interest— and at one stage, 12 vehicles were being reserved every minute. The two-week reservation target was hit in the first 12 hours.
When orders were opened to the global market in May 2022, the company racked up 1,500 orders in the first 12 hours. Within two months of the May launch, sales were 110% of the whole year target, while real-time lead generation is delivering a customer database growth of 40% on the year.