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Mahindra Auto Digital

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Mahindra Auto Digital

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Mahindra Auto: Putting car buyers in the digital driving seat

Imagine being able to buy a car online in five minutes without stepping foot in a showroom?

Horizontal Digital made the impossible possible for Mahindra Auto, one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, by reimagining the online booking flow to create a fluid, personalized experience that puts digital-first customers behind the wheel of their own buying journey.

Learn more about how we helped Mahindra Auto disrupt the car buying process by becoming the first Indian automobile manufacturer to completely transform their online purchasing journey, making it as fast and exciting as a real-life test drive.

The all-new Mahindra Auto Digital Platform (Opens in a new tab) not only allows customers to buy a vehicle online, but also features different functionality like built-in calculators and configuration tools so that they can customize their car. Buyers can get finance and take out insurance for their vehicle in a completely end-to-end online experience, all from the comfort of their home.

The situation

Putting the sting back into the tail of Mahindra Auto

Launched in 2020 as a groundbreaking digital sales site on Sitecore Experience Platform (XP), Mahindra Auto Digital allows customers to buy a car in four easy steps without having to visit a physical dealership.

The platform allows customers to explore and personalize their vehicles, get instant exchange quotes, find finance and insurance solutions and conduct payment – all in one simple online session. Furthermore, the platform also allows customers to lease a vehicle.
Mahindra wanted to take the digital experience to the next level by improving site performance and functionality, designing a customer experience that surpassed the expectations of its digitally-savvy customers. 

Horizontal was tasked with fine tuning and refreshing the existing site, to supercharge its speed and ramp up the number of online sales – while laying the foundation to leverage Web3 technologies for a fully immersive customer experience in the future.

Before the site overhaul, pages took too long to load, making it a frustrating experience for customers. By transforming the architecture, Horizontal was able to speed up processing time to create a truly interactive and real-time experience for Mahindra customers.

The team added convenient functionality like email and SMS notifications of order booking and cancellations, and a MyBookings section on the site where customers could easily manage and track their orders.

In addition to streamlining the booking flow, Horizontal also implemented a microsite development architecture that allows the Mahindra marketing team to design their own microsites or brand launch pages rapidly.

The Mahindra team put this new functionality to the test when they built their own brand site for the highly anticipated launch of the “Big Daddy of all SUVs”, the legendary Mahindra Scorpio-N (Opens in a new tab) in September 2022. The Horizontal team was on hand to make sure that the brand site matched up to the car’s unmissable design, thrilling performance, advanced technology, and intuitive features.

Also, the Horizontal team was asked to have the main website ready for the launch of Mahindra’s first all-electric SUV, the XUV400, as a backup in case of any issues on their Launch Portal which exists separately and stores booking data offline. This allowed the business team to switch the Launch Portal out and use the main website if needed. After the launch, the team was able to migrate all bookings and users onto the main site quickly and seamlessly.

During the course of the project, Horizontal had to solve for three key challenges: 

1. Mahindra Auto needed to be able to accurately measure and elevate the value of their investment in their digital platform.          
2. Mahindra Auto’s pan-India network of 270+ dealers and 900+ touchpoints are all integrated with the platform. In the past, this meant that the existing site was slow and often struggled to withstand millions of hits which would be a real problem when Scorpio-N, India’s most powerful SUV, hit the market with a flash sale, not to mention the XU400.

3. Additionally, the site relied heavily on systems integrations with other provider partners, such as banks and insurers, to deliver the full “Own-Online” Digital experience, again slowing the customer journey down.

The response

Empowering Mahindra Auto to create their own high-speed CX

Our ambitious mission was to create a digital experience powered by Sitecore that could handle web traffic from thousands of visitors per second as well as developing Mahindra Auto’s ability to rapidly deploy new microsites for upcoming launches.

The end product had to maintain brand integrity, deliver personalization, and grow customer loyalty by building on and improving the site they knew and loved, rather than being a wholesale redesign. This solution allowed for a thoughtful and strategic realignment of people, processes and tools to take a much more nimble and modular approach to site ideation and creation.

Working closely with the Mahindra Auto team, we:

1. Implemented transformational optimization to the online booking/user flow with intuitive UX and UI.

2. Load tested and strengthened the site’s ability to withstand thousands of concurrent users in the booking flow.

3. Instituted Azure Service Bus – a cloud messaging system for seamlessly connecting apps and devices across public and private clouds, thereby speeding up sessions.

5. Deployed Sitecore Experience Accelerator (SXA) to enable Mahindra Auto to streamline and accelerate future development on Own-Online.

6. Gave Mahindra access to a large SXA library of reusable components and UX templates, empowering the client to quickly build their own consistently on-brand microsites for new products and launches, without the need for expensive custom coding.

7. Created a component library specific to Mahindra corporate identity, that made the various system integrations as well as marketing content available from downstream systems and various channels.

Horizontal has helped us to stay ahead of the curve by enhancing the customer journey across our Mahindra Auto digital platform. This led to overwhelmingly successful online launch of Scorpio-N and our XUV400 electric vehicle. The extensive work done by the team in stabilizing and enhancing the platform resulted in more than 10,000 bookings in the first week of the site launch. Best of all, our team is empowered to create our own world-class digital experiences both now and in the future.

Head of Technology (Digital), Mahindra Group | Dhyanendra Bhangre

The results

Online sales soar and development now in the rearview mirror

By significantly improving the speed and efficiency of Mahindra’s digital platform, we were able to help the client deliver thousands of unique and compelling user experiences via a single, efficient and scalable platform.

When it comes to the success of the project, the numbers speak for themselves:

1. The site performance was improved to withstand more than 10,000 concurrent users per second with zero downtime.

2. Additional sales demand of 25% was supported.

3. We achieved a 30% cost reduction for Mahindra in infrastructure optimization.

4. The client experienced a 50% faster time-to-market for new online products.

5. Mahindra’s digital team now has 100% business ownership of content management with no technical team involvement.

This strong foundation will allow Mahindra to accelerate its marketing capabilities in a cost-effective way for both the core brand and future launches for years to come.

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