Car Buying of the Future
When this generation’s children grow up and start buying cars, it will look a lot different than it does now. Rather than going into a dealership to check out each and every car they are interested in, they will simply throw on their virtual reality glasses and hop (virtually) inside each car they want to check out. This is the future of car buying. All auto dealerships need to be prepared. Whether we want to admit it or not, the day is coming when buyers will never have to walk inside the dealership if they don’t want to. Think about it: you’ll be able to shop for a car without ever getting in a car or having to drive to the dealership. And you won’t have to try and get consumers into the dealership, which we all know is getting more and more difficult.
Car Buying of the Future
The pandemic accelerated the shift to digital retail that was already beginning in the auto industry. Most car buyers, especially young buyers, hate the traditional car buying process, which is a problem. They hate the pushy sales tactics most old-school dealerships employ and don’t have the patience to visit dealership after dealership trying to find the vehicle they want and then get the best deal. The solution lies in technology.
In the future, consumers won’t have to leave the comfort of their homes to sit inside the car they are considering purchasing. Instead, they can put on their virtual reality glasses and do it wherever they want: from their couch, their desk, or even their bed. Virtual reality is the next-gen shopping experience, especially when it comes to large-ticket items, like cars and trucks.
I sat down recently and tested out this technology on an Oculus Rift. (Which is no longer available, but you can check out the Oculus Quest 2.)
While right now, there are some limitations to checking out potential cars in VR (for example, I can see the leather in new Volvo, but not feel it) it’s easy to see how this is the future of car buying.
I’m a nerd. I’m a computer nerd, I’m a technology nerd, and I’m a car nerd. I love this stuff. I love technology and what it can do. I am always thinking of new ways to make it easier for dealerships to sell cars. So let’s talk about how virtual reality can help your dealership sell more cars someday.
How Virtual Reality Can Help Improve the Car Buying Process
You can post a photo or video of the inside of each one of your vehicles. Or, you can even have a salesperson doing a walkaround of the vehicle in VR.
In the future, you can invite the potential car buyer to be your friend, and they can ask you questions as you show them around the vehicle in virtual reality. You can show them the front, the back, the engine, everything they want and need to see to buy the car.
Or, buyers can invite their friends in and show them the cars they’re thinking about buying and ask for advice, discuss it, whatever.
The only downside to virtual reality car-buying? It’s not good for car addicts like me! It makes it way too easy to look at (and buy) cars.
Benefits of Virtual Reality for Car Dealers
There are several benefits for your dealership of integrating virtual reality.
Less Inventory Required on the Lot
We all know that the automotive industry is facing a shortage of vehicles right now, for a myriad of reasons. Even in regular times, it can be hard to keep vehicles that are in high demand in stock. With virtual reality, you can showcase all models, colors, and options that are available. It allows your customer to experience each option, without you having to necessarily have it in stock.
Drive More In-Store Visits
If a consumer likes the car they check out via virtual reality, their next step is most likely to come check it out in-person at the dealership and head out for a test drive. Consumers are more likely to visit a dealership where VR/AR is used.
Reduced Costs for Dealerships
Sure, you might need to invest in some equipment to properly outfit your dealership for virtual reality. But think of all the cash you’ll save on floor space, shop assistants, and car models when you don’t have to display them all in your showroom in reality.
Beat the Competition
It can be hard to beat the dealership down the street when you’re both offering the same products at around the same price point. If you offer something new and exciting, you get a competitive advantage over those guys.
Benefits of Virtual Reality for Car Buyers
There are also additional benefits for your customers.
Better Buying Experience
The automotive industry is already shifting gears to a customer-centric approach. Consumers are already beginning their sales journey online. If you can offer a more complete online experience, you’re way ahead of the competition.
Fully Personalized Experience
Personalization is key to the buying process in 2022. Virtual reality will eventually allow the customer to see themselves in the vehicle and tailor it to their exact wants and needs.
Most people are in the process of buying a car for an average of 89 days. That’s almost three months. Consumers can drastically cut this time by not having to visit a bunch of dealerships in-person.
The Virtual Reality Car Buying Experience
Digital retail is now more of a necessity than a choice, even in the auto industry. Virtual reality will start driving the car-buying experience in the near future. VR is how our children will browse vehicles and other large-ticket items online. Don’t get left behind in the dust. My advice is to start taking 360-degree images or videos of your vehicles. There are certain cameras you can buy to do this, and it will be a worthwhile investment. If you want to be at the forefront of the car buying of the future, check out TECOBI. We offer the best video conferencing and text messaging tools to help you sell more cars, faster. Learn more about our different plans and pricing, and contact us today.
How do we do it? We show the best inventory and your latest specials to the people near your dealership. We drive them from Facebook and Instagram, straight into your dealership and into their new vehicle. We are the dealership marketing proof that you don’t need to lie to sell cars on Facebook. So don’t do it! Instead, trust the automotive marketing experts at TECOBI. We’ll help you sell cars and retain the trust of your market and your customers.