One Company, 100 Different Markets:
The Strengths of Smart Customization in Automotive Digital Solutions

In the global automotive industry, one size does not fit all.

Each market has unique requirements, preferences, and regulations that must be addressed to deliver an optimal customer experience. This necessitates smart customization in automotive digital solutions to enable companies to cater to diverse market needs effectively.

Over the past 15 years, we have helped Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) sell cars in 98 countries by leveraging our extensive experience to tailor digital solutions that meet diverse market demands. In this article, I look at a few examples to show why customization is a requirement when dealing with global clients.

1. Customizing Stock Locator for the Japanese Market

When JLR decided to implement Stock Locator in Japan, the company faced some foreboding challenges. Local laws required that automotive businesses displayed particular vehicle information for used cars. As such, JLR needed the platform to include custom fields, including the purpose of previous use, availability of a repair record, and the warranty expiration date.

In addition, trends specific to the Japanese market also meant that JLR wanted to develop custom retailer filtering and additional pricing fields tailored to the Japanese market. The company looked to enable users to easily find the closest retailers.

To do so, JLR had to handle local retailer data by integrating with external APIs, translating postal codes to geographic coordinates, and returning retailers sorted by distance​​. To meet these requirements, we developed a custom retailer filter for Stock Locator by integrating external API requests to fetch Japanese retailer data. This ensured that the system could sort retailers based on proximity in a user-friendly fashion. We also added Japan-specific pricing fields, including the on-the-road price, which encompasses taxes and other fees unique to Japan​​. Finally, the data related to the custom fields required by local regulations is now sent to the Carsensor platform through a data feed-based integration with Stock Locator.

By applying targeted customizations to our platform, we ensured that the solution fit the Japanese market while simultaneously fulfilling JLR’s interests.

stock locator japan
stock locator japan

2. Multi-Language Support and Localization

When you’re operating in a market in which various languages are used, you’ll need to provide support in each of those languages. Stock Locator provides translations stored in its library and automatically applies them, making the platform accessible to users in different regions. The platform supports English, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese, among others, ensuring that users can interact with the system in their preferred language, improving usability and engagement.

In addition, Stock Locator enables the quick addition of new languages. This is crucial for those businesses experiencing rapidly expanding markets where language barriers could impede user adoption. The ability to offer a localized experience makes the platform more appealing and user-friendly, leading to higher customer satisfaction and retention.​

stock locator multilanguage

3. Custom Financial Calculators for Local Markets

Given the importance of financial calculators for the automotive buying experience, you need to make sure that your tool is customized to meet local market requirements. Fortunately, Stock Locator enables businesses to adjust the calculator to fit local needs and regulations while helping users evaluate various financing options directly on the platform.

For example, our solution provides customized leasing and financing calculators based on individual market formulas in some European countries. These calculators are developed without the need for backend integrations and instead rely on custom formulas that adhere to local regulations. This approach ensures compliance with local financial regulations and provides users with accurate, relevant financial information, making the car buying process smoother and more transparent.

stock locator multilanguage

4. Customizable Client Flows

Customizable client flows allow companies to adapt their processes to meet specific market requirements. For example, in Europe, we developed a feature that allows users to add Service Packs during the reservation process. This customization includes additional steps during which users can select options like extended warranties, tailored to the preferences of European customers. This flexibility meets local needs and provides an opportunity to upsell additional services​​.

service pack stock locator

5. Custom Methods for Displaying Disclaimers 

Another aspect of the car purchasing journey governed by local regulations is the display of disclaimers. Different markets require different information to be presented, meaning that an international automotive company needs to adjust for every region in which it is active. In response, Stock Locator handles displaying price-related additional information in tooltips.

For example, in the Danish market, a retailer is legally required to present disclaimers directly on the website without hiding them under any tooltips or accordions. According to the law, all compulsory information related to the credit agreement must be presented in a clear, concise, and prominent way through a representative example. With Stock Locator, any automotive company can adjust their website within Denmark while simultaneously fulfilling regulatory requirements in other companies with simple customization options.

car disclaimer

6. Feature Flags

Implementing feature flags allows companies to enable or disable specific features for different markets without disrupting the overall system. This approach provides the flexibility to introduce new functionalities when needed while maintaining system stability and performance. With feature flags, you can test and deploy market-specific features independently, which minimizes the risk of impacting the broader system​​.

What to Remember Before Implementing Customizations

Balancing Customization and Development

While the benefits of smart customizations are clear, we need to balance them with development time and complexity. Each customization requires careful planning, precise execution, and thorough testing to ensure that the new features integrate seamlessly with the existing system. Over-customization can lead to increased maintenance and operational costs, so make sure to prioritize the options that offer the most significant benefits to the user experience and business goals.

Data Integrity

When customizing, one challenge you’ll face is the need to ensure data integrity and consistency across different markets. While working with JLR, we needed to integrate with external APIs for retailer data in Japan. This required precise data matching between external retailer IDs and internal system IDs, which were necessary for maintaining data accuracy and reliability. By ensuring data integrity, we supported effective decision-making and helped JLR maintain customer trust​​.

Customer Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Customer feedback is vital for shaping and refining customizations. By continuously gathering and analyzing feedback, companies can identify areas for improvement and implement changes that further enhance the user experience. This iterative approach ensures that your digital solutions continue to meet the evolving needs of different markets. Regular updates based on user feedback help maintain high levels of customer satisfaction while equipping you with the knowledge needed to adapt to changing market dynamics​​.

stock locator

Seamless Inventory Solution for OEMs

  • Easily adjust access permissions across your OEM, NSCs and retailers to suit any operational requirements and security levels.

  • Tailor the client journey to meet specific local market demands, such as varying price disclaimers and postcode-specific search results.

  • Connect seamlessly with Salesforce, EnquiryMAX, and other local CRM solutions for superior lead management.
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