Ducati has been synonymous with motorcycles since 1946, when brothers Adriano, Bruno, and Marcello Ducati first attached a lightweight motor to a bicycle frame. Since then, Ducati motorcycles have evolved into internationally coveted dream machines known for their precision engineering, lightning speed, and sleek design. So when the company needed the perfect sales support platform to reflect its high-performance brand, they turned to iPad.
“Ducati is a unique company,” says Cristiano Silei, Ducati’s Vice President of Global Sales. “We don’t have ordinary customers; we have “Ducatistas”-dedicated fans. We don’t have ordinary dealers; we have loyal business partners who love motorcycles. Ducati has always been one of the first companies to apply new technologies to motorcycles. And iPad is a real revolution in the way we communicate with both our dealer network and our customers.”
“It was clear from the start that iPad was the right device. It’s the simplicity, the immediate usability. Everyone understands how it works in just a few minutes.”
Cristiano Silei, Vice President of Global Sales, Ducati
Building a Better POS Engine
Ducati’s distribution and sales operation spans a thousand dealers in 88 countries. As with any global company, it’s critical to maintain a consistent image throughout this network while providing accurate, current product information to help customers buy the ideal bike.
But geography is just one of the company’s marketing challenges. In addition to motorcycles, Ducati sells parts, accessories, apparel, and other products that make the Ducati experience complete. All told, there are thousands of products and customization options for dealers to be familiar with, and for customers to choose from.
In the past, sales staff struggled with poorly organized, sometimes conflicting or outdated information on product inventory, availability, and ordering timeframes, resulting in a less-than-ideal experience for customers and dealers alike.
“Our main problem was that we had so many different communication systems,” says Mario Alvisi, Sales Performance Development Manager at Ducati. “The information was there, but it wasn’t coordinated.”
To resolve these issues, Ducati equipped its sales network with iPads and developed a custom in-house app called DCS, or Ducati Communication System, a SAP-based interface that lets dealers easily find, send, and receive all the information they need to place orders and track them through production and delivery. Authorized Ducati dealers can download the app and get updates directly through the Apple App Store. They can also add modular tools such as a configurator that allows them to “build” a customer’s ultimate motorcycle, complete with accessories, and follow up with an email summarizing all the specs.
“You can communicate in real time with colleagues and complete the sale without any delays or further messages,” says Stefano Veronesi, manager of the Ducati factory store in Bologna. “The customer helps build his own dream — and iPad makes it possible.”
“iPad is a real revolution in the way we communicate with both our dealer network and our customers.”
Cristiano Silei, Vice President of Global Sales, Ducati
Accelerated Sales and Training
Using iPad and DCS, dealers can share clear, detailed product information and images directly with customers, streamlining the ordering process. With its intuitive interface and clear display, iPad helps keep customers focused on the excitement of visualizing the final product, making it easier to close the sale.
“Our dealers use the DCS app to communicate with the company about everything business-related,” Alvisi explains. “They can use it with a client to configure a motorcycle, customize it with options the client chooses, check the order status, exchange motorcycles with other dealers. Dealers can order spare parts, apparel, or accessories with this app. They can also create and activate a warranty, check the history of a vehicle, or anything else service-related — all directly inside the app.”
“iPad is perfect for our points of sale because, like our motorcycles, it’s fast, cool technology.”
In addition to providing engaging, immediate sales support, the DCS app on iPad acts as a training interface to keep dealers updated on Ducati’s evolving product line.
“The app does staff training for everyone from salespeople to service personnel,” Veronesi says. “They can access online courses at any time, making use of downtime and improving everyone’s training.”
With its easily updated content, DCS keeps dealers current on products and resources, and helps them stay committed to great customer service. “Thanks to this app, our dealers feel like they are part of a community; they’re more integrated into the company,” Alvisi says. “We can identify our best dealers all over the world, and provide videos, interactive content, and exercises for them to become even better.”
Taking the Lead with iPad
For Ducati dealers, the DCS app on iPad makes all the difference when it comes to finding and ordering the right products, engaging customers in a personalized sales experience, and learning what’s new in all things Ducati. “It was clear from the start that iPad was the right device,” Silei says. “It’s the simplicity, the immediate usability. Everyone understands how it works in just a few minutes.”
And for customers, it’s one less barrier between the dream of owning a Ducati and the reality.
“You don’t buy a motorcycle every day,” Silei notes. “So when someone comes to the dealership, it’s a very emotional and important moment. It’s crucial to understand how to choose the right motorcycle, and we do whatever we can to make the experience unforgettable. iPad helps us a lot with this, because it gives the future Ducati owner a richer experience.”
“We are growing quickly from being an Italian company to being a totally international one. iPad is crucial in this process of growth. It is the frontier”.