The story behind Twitter’s first European car sale


Lawrence Papoff

BARCELONA, SPAIN – Raul Escolano was looking for a car. Like most shoppers, whether they are in North America or Europe, Escolano didn’t want to spend his time going from dealer to dealer in his homeland, Spain. So he took to the Internet and Twitter.

There, he began courting car dealers in Spain using the hashtag #compraruncocheportwitter – in English, “buy a car on Twitter.”

Backing him up was a Twitter poll of people he asked to give him their opinions on his vehicle choices.

He shopped around and found a Twitter-savNissanTweet1vy Nissan dealership, Antamotor, in northwest Spain. Using Periscope, Twitter’s live streaming video mobile app, dealership staff took the buyer around an X-Trail presenting all of the vehicle’s key features in a personalized walkaround uploaded to a live stream.

Escolano liked what he saw. Still, he wanted a second opinion. So he polled Twitter users to see how they his choice versus the others on his shortlist.

The survey, which received 2.6 million impressions (according to social media analyst Brandwatch) ranked X-Trail ahead of its rivals with 43 per cent of the vote, helping Nissan to seal the deal.

“The Twitter poll was set up by the purchaser and Periscope was used to by the Nissan dealer to highlight the X-Trail’s key features and to explain the next steps in terms of agreeing to a deal and vehicle delivery,” Christopher Caloghiris, corporate communications officer for Nissan Europe, told Canadian AutoWorld.

He said that from the first contact with the client to the final decision to purchase – just six days later – all communication between the dealer and the customer took place digitally via the social media platform.

Caloghiris said that once Escolano made his choice, “not much bargaining was done.”

“The client then spoke directly with the leasing company over the phone.”

A courier delivered the keys to the customer who picked up the SUV at Nissan’s Spanish offices, not at the dealership.

“It was the first face-to-face interaction between Nissan and the customer since the sale began two months earlier,” Caloghiris added.

In October 2015, Nissan announced a new European customer experience initiative, which the automaker called one of the industry’s broadest-reaching customer service transformation programs.

The five point Service Customer Promise includes 24/7 customer service, lifetime Nissan assistance, service price match, a free transparent vehicle health-check, and free courtesy car with any service operation.

“It is the first time that an automaker has made a region-wide promise to its customers, signaling Nissan’s commitment to leading the industry towards greater transparency when it comes to aftersales support, pricing and servicing,” the automaker said.

“In select markets, Nissan has also deployed innovative technologies like ‘e-vision,’ a video diagnostic tool for time-sensitive customers looking for greater transparency and clarity around their vehicle service.”