Volvo: Volvo’s Street Configurator App is Like Amazon’s "Buy Now" Button for Car Shoppers


Campaign Summary

The Volvo Street Configurator app was the first tool of its kind. This revolutionary tool allowed users to take pictures of Volvo models they liked, upload them to the app, and get a full rundown of the car's details with an option to begin the purchase process, all within 60 seconds. Think of it like Amazon's "Buy Now" button, only on a product with a much higher price point.



With this campaign, Volvo wanted to target individuals who were not motorheads, but simply wanted to purchase a reliable and safe car to get them from point A to point B and who would be willing to make a purchase online when marketed to with the right message. The process of buying a car online raised two key barriers for customers that Volvo had to overcome:

  • It's a hassle and can feel a bit risky to purchase a car online and ensure it has all of the features you're looking for when you're not an expert.
  • People interested in purchasing a new car very often want to see that car in person before they make a decision.

To overcome these barriers, Volvo had to rethink its approach to selling cars. The brand wanted to turn the street into its showroom and use technology to help drive potentials buyers through the purchase funnel. Importantly, the street experience and the technology had to be intrinsically linked. Volvo thus had to develop a tool that would allow individuals to begin their purchase journeys online immediately after seeing a Volvo car on the street.

Target Audience:

The primary audience for this campaign was individuals who were between 24 and 55 years old and interested in purchasing a new car.

Creative Strategy:

Because research showed people felt strongly that they must see a car in person before they can make a purchase, Volvo took its showroom to the streets of Belgium. The idea was to create instant appeal by simply allowing people to see cars in all their detail up close and personal. Those individuals would then need to be served an offer for the exact car they had just seen before they had time to second guess themselves.

To address this challenge, Volvo created the Volvo Street Configurator. This revolutionary tool made every Volvo in the streets an opportunity for the brand to sell another car. The tool worked by allowing individuals to take a photo of a Volvo they had seen in the street, upload it to an app, and then get all of the details on the model that had caught their eye.


The Street Configurator was born out of the cancellation of the Brussels Motor Show — one of the biggest sales drivers for the car industry every year — due to COVID-19 restrictions. Faced with the inability to showcase its cars at an event that can account for up to 30 percent of the brand's annual sales target, Volvo decided to bring the showroom to the street.

The Street Configurator was the world's first AI-driven mobile web application that recognized any Volvo in the street and provided users with its details instantly, creating a seamless journey from desire to purchase.


Overall Campaign Execution:

To get people to use the app, Volvo invited everyone to look around them for inspiration with the claim that "the street is our showroom." A national outdoor campaign (with an outdoor QR scan capability) and a SoMe campaign drove traffic to the app with photographs of Volvos shot in Belgian streets by three street photographers.

All media targeted prospects while they were on the go and most likely to see a Volvo they liked. Volvo also lowered the learning curve for the app by creating and sharing a tutorial video and using influencers to show how easy it was to find the car you liked. From love at first sight to a full rundown on the details of the car — it all took less than 60 seconds.

Business Impact (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Reimagining the street as a showroom turned out to be a successful move by Volvo. The press announced it as the future way of buying cars. It also greatly enhanced business for the car brand, with requests for tests drives rising by 29 percent. Moreover, individuals using the app converted at a rate 175 percent higher than those who didn't. This marketing success resulted in 4,492 cars sold in January 2021, making it the best month ever in the history of Volvo Belgium.

The lead conversion rate also improved significantly. Users who visited after they had used the street configurator were 1.75 times more likely to become a lead. This audience was also highly engaged:

  • 17 percent of app visitors did a street configuration.
  • 20 percent of all street configurator visitors visited

The tool was developed for Belgium and Luxembourg, but given the results, Germany, Austria, the U.K., and the U.S. are currently adapting the tool for their markets.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: O2O/New Retail/Innovative Sales Channels | Awards: X Global Gold Winner