Audi of America

Pioneering the digital automotive experience of the future

As Audi of America’s digital agency of record, Somo is responsible for strategising, designing, and building Audi’s digital presence across its core pillars – Shop, Buy, Own and Enable.

The Vision

Audi of America’s vision is to create a frictionless digital experience throughout the Shop, Buy, Own and Enable phases of the customer journey, allowing customers to interact with the brand where, when and how they want to. To achieve this vision, Audi is focusing on consolidating its products and services to create easy, integrated and personal experiences for its customers.

Industry Landscape

Macro trends related to mobility, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, and digitalisation of physical showrooms are changing the face of the automotive industry. This means brands need to ensure their digital platforms are developed with flexibility and agility at their core to be prepared for the impact of these changes and how they affect the customer experience.

Challenge

From a digital standpoint, the challenge facing Audi was about creating the right structure and foundations for success, enabling multiple product teams to develop and release new features at pace – and with consistently brilliant quality. As Audi of America’s digital agency of record, Somo was tasked with solving this challenge, while boosting operational efficiency, increasing sales, and delivering on key business and customer requirements. The impact of these efforts continues to position Audi at the forefront of innovation within the automotive industry.

Approach

Built around the four key pillars – Shop, Buy, Own and Enable – Somo has seven highly-skilled product teams across the Audi of America programme of work. Each team is cross-functional and combines a mix of both Audi and Somo employees, all focused on creating customer-first digital experiences through a combination of process, design and technology enhancements.

We’ve established an added focus on user testing and become a recognised leader within The Volkswagen Group in early and effective adoption of a feedback-led design process. We’ve also guided Audi of America’s investment in quality-led and domain-driven development processes, helping to close the loop between product-level specifications and the correct implementation of those specifications in code.

To ensure the product teams are designing and developing consistently, efficiently and collaboratively, we’ve introduced a global Design System for Audi. It’s the single source of truth for Audi product teams in all markets, with everything from Getting Started guides, Core Components, and process documentation. Our dedicated Design System team works with individual product teams to ensure the system continues to evolve.

From a technology standpoint, we developed a new, modern front-end architecture called Modular UI. This was supported from a back-end perspective by pioneering the use of Apollo GraphQL as an orchestration layer to unify access to a variety of different services. With this approach, Audi of America has the ability to release more frequently – and has seen a significant boost in authoring speed and a vast increase in product quality.

Business Outcomes

Audi of America and Somo have achieved a number of significant improvements across the programme of work. The number of releases has risen from 21 (October to December) to 52 (January to March), allowing us to release new features to customers more frequently, while halving the number of bugs.

Our initial focus for migrating audiusa.com to Modular UI was placed on the model landing pages, ensuring that we were delivering a cutting-edge, modern and fast experience for customers conducting their research. Introducing Modular UI has resulted in a decrease in page load speeds from ~8 seconds to under 3 seconds.

Audi of America was the first brand to launch with Electrify America. Our solution, integrated within the myAudi app, enabled e-tron customers to enrol with Electrify America, start a charging session, and track their charging history. Since launching, 70% of e-tron owners have enrolled with Electrify America and 73% have registered to become a Key User, an important metric for Audi. A total of 6300 charging sessions have been started through the myAudi app – and the number keeps growing.

What the client said

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Somo brings a unique blend of design expertise alongside expert technical knowledge. They understand design in a way that means it benefits business goals, customers’ goals and the goals of the engineering teams alike. Their work to date with AoA has resulted in both efficiencies in our design process whilst making enhancements to the effectiveness of the multiple platforms they are working on.

Tyler Stafford
Brand Digital Products & Innovation at Audi of America