The Future of Automotive Dealership
Dealerships have been rethinking on their traditional operations, and are keen on opting for digital solutions to attract more customers. Let's see how these dealerships are evolving.
Past VS Present
The Early dealership evolved as a touchpoint for the OEM to reach customers. The 3rd party owned these customer touchpoints and the sales of the OEM were dependent on the dealership. They had large spaces where they could keep every model of the newly launched car.
But now as these dealerships are getting smaller, they have limited models on the display. The dealership visit is still a vital phase of the buying process but now the discovery and research phases are done online. The customer comes to the dealership much later in the buying process. After he has narrowed down the model he is looking for. Due to this shift, the brand is also keener on digital promotions.
The Dealerships are shifting to a high footfall area like High-street and malls, and to make maximum use of the space that they have, they are adding digital zones with technologies like Virtual Reality, Augmented reality, Product configurator, etc.
By analyzing the current trend it can be said that these dealerships are now moving towards a carless dealership where these technologies will take over the actual model.
A Virtual Reality headset at home will replace the need to travel to the dealership. Ecommerce for the automotive industry will be unleashed. The user will strap on a headset and immediately be placed in a showroom with the car he wants to see. He will be joined by a salesperson who logs in
remotely in the same VR space. Both customers and salespeople can see, hear and talk to each other while the customer gets his questions answered in a completely personalized shopping experience.
VR experience at each dealership to replace showing the actual physical model of the car. The OEM can reduce the financial strain on the dealer, by taking back control of the sales process through VR and give a superior experience to customers.
How It's Done
The user enters the VR environment at a dealership and a product expert in the head office joins the customer for an interactive session to answer his questions. A lot of premium brands have already started visiting people’s homes or offices. For such visits, they will carry a VR headset and through this headset, a customer can enter a VR environment, experience the car and get a personalized sales pitch from the product expert. He can then book a test drive or the car directly in VR.
This is how Virtual reality will help the brand take control of the sales process by having the best product salesperson to pitch to the customer. The dealership will be a point for customer interaction but the product pitch will be taken control by the brand.