True Luxury in Customer Experience

Mercedes-Benz

The year was 2009, and the automaker known for delivering “the best or nothing” wanted to translate their credo for a new world of customer expectations.

It was a time of intense transition. Like people looking for anything else, car shoppers were expecting to do more of their consideration online. And going “online” meant doing so across a proliferating number of platforms.

For Mercedes-Benz, these challenges were matched by an opportunity to embrace a new generation of luxury drivers. The brand had to demonstrate to millennial shoppers why a Mercedes-Benz is the right choice for their mobile, multi-tasking, technology-fueled lives.

Mercedes-Benz partnered with Razorfish to reinvent their platforms for an all-digital world. Together, we’re still reinventing.

Responsive Design

A Platform Engineered for Change

Remaining an icon of luxury means catering to every customer expectation. It requires serving them, where they are, with exactly what they want. Technology offered unprecedented ways to achieve this.

Our first task was to design and build a new flagship site for the brand.  We converted their existing offering to a flexible system that could evolve over time — a departure from the era’s prevailing design conventions, where websites were completely replaced every 18 months.  

The new site spoke with all the elegance and prestige of the brand, while delivering to the very highest of user expectations. It also provided a technological foundation as complex, powerful and fluid as the engines that power the cars. The experience was fully scalable, meaning the brand was now positioned to tell its story no matter what story the future held.

E-Class Sedan

The Right Story For Every Driver

For Mercedes-Benz, the story of its vehicles wasn’t one that could simply be told model by model. Each belongs to a class with its own distinct narrative, pedigree and audience. And Mercedes-Benz is constantly creating innovations that apply across its lineup, each with its own story to tell.


The sheer number and variety of Mercedes-Benz vehicles made all of this a daunting challenge. In the luxury market, drivers expect a vehicle that is perfectly suited to their needs and desires. That’s why Mercedes-Benz offers such a nuanced range of choices. We had to help the brand channel that complexity into a singular statement of purpose, all while telling stories that were every bit as nuanced as the vehicles and the people who drive them.

 

The result is a flexible, dynamic system pulling in modular content where necessary to deliver the right story at the right time to exactly the right person.

RIght Story Image

Relentless Refinement

The launch of the new site was only a beginning. As technology evolved month by month and year by year, we refined — as we continue to refine — what we created.

Since people were increasingly browsing on mobile, we designed the experience to be responsive, putting all the functionality of a desktop site into the hands of Mercedes-Benz customers.

We allowed those customers to fully configure their vehicles through mobile, a first-to-market milestone for the luxury car shopper.

Then, we incorporated real-time data from across the country, so that when you built that dream car, we could match it to reality: an actual vehicle on a dealership lot nearby.

In short, we created a system that guided an automotive shopper from their first curious visit to mbusa.com through their personalization of the vehicle to the moment they arrived at the dealership.

Screenshot of the Build Your Own feature on mbusa.com

“Index leader Mercedes-Benz boasts a powerful mobile experience.”

L2 Digital IQ Index

From Big Data to Clear Action

Building a nuanced and complex system gave us profound insight into the habits of the automotive shopper. We were able to channel that insight into a further program for Mercedes-Benz that fundamentally changes the way the brand relates to its customers.

This path-to-purchase initiative measures each touchpoint across the customer lifecycle, allowing us to harness real-world data at real-time speed. Then we hone in on the patterns that lead to clear action, so we can optimize the details of the platforms in response to individual customer needs.

As useful as it is to know what customers are doing, true power is knowing what they will do. This initiative uses statistical models to reveal the behaviors most predictive of purchase, from media exposure and engagement to site features like Build-Your-Own. Among other things, we can now predict what sales will be like 90 days ahead of time based on how people use the site. Our approach to data allows us to provide Mercedes-Benz with precise data modeling, so that its media, programmatic buying, CRM and loyalty targeting decisions can be made based on customer value to the brand. It’s an approach that will only become more effective — and more personal — over time.

 

From Big Data to Clear Action

Mercedes Me

While access to data is transforming the way Mercedes-Benz approaches the vehicle shopper, it also promises to transform the way its owners drive.

The future of luxury isn’t about the objects with which one surrounds oneself — it’s about the experiences those objects enable. Recognizing this, we’ve helped Mercedes-Benz build and launch the latest entry in their platform portfolio: Mercedes me. It’s a suite of tools that connects drivers to their vehicles and their vehicles to the world beyond. Our first step, launched in August 2016, allows Mercedes-Benz owners to control their vehicles through their phones and connect to all the resources they need as owners. The Mercedes me app is the foundation for an ongoing endeavor to define luxury through technology.

Screenshots of Mercedes me app

Results

Since Mercedes-Benz launched the redesigned mbusa.com, yearly visits have more than doubled, rising 117%. And users who come to the site are doing so more often, with an increase of 8% in average monthly sessions per user. The number of people engaging with the Build-Your-Own functionality has more than tripled since it was launched, and more than twice as many people are showing interest in the site’s special offers. Most important: Leads have increased an average of 35% every year since 2013 — almost 150% so far.

The benchmark for industry recognition in this category is JD Power’s Manufacturer Website Evaluation Study. The new mbusa.com has been in scored in the top six of that study six straight times — more than any other OEM. That’s an unparalleled level of consistency in a time of unparalleled change.

 

Related Work

Locations

34 Offices. 5 Continents.
1 Vision.