When it comes to car buying and selling, the future is virtual, but the profits are very real. Silicon Valley has had an indelible effect on global commerce since the onset of the Internet. With the latest buzz around virtual and augmented reality, and the potentialities of the metaverse, it’s time to look at how virtual reality is bringing changes to the car buying market.
Car companies and dealerships alike are adapting to the ubiquity of e-commerce by providing virtual interactions to help customers make buying decisions. VR showrooms allow potential car buyers to experience a more immersive, branded interface with a dealership as opposed to a simple online order. Picture a prompt on a visit to an auto site that takes you on a virtual tour of the showroom and shows you a 360º controllable view of the showroom. Elements like the multi-angle view of different car models and the branding statement of the interior design can add to the buyer experience and heavily influence purchasing decisions.
Consumers can also virtually test drive the vehicle, all from the convenience and speed of a smartphone. A view of the interior, a sense of how the car relates to its surroundings, a “testing” of the controls — this immersive experience gives prospective buyers the opportunity to get acclimated with the car without having to even step foot in a dealership.
Virtual car showrooms play a major part in the latest tech advances impacting the scalability of auto sales — whether customers ultimately purchase in person or completely online.
Companies are entering the virtual showroom conversation in a variety of ways, including offering AI solutions for dealerships interested in designing their own VR showroom. When it comes to car brands leading the way in virtual experiences, several brands took advantage of the wanderlust of buyers on lockdown and categorized their showrooms by city and location. There are even platforms for buyers to explore thousands of cars from industry-leading brands through a smartphone or tablet-based virtual interface.
With global pandemics now in our dictionary of future threats, digital solutions that keep commerce uninterrupted will continue to grow in popularity and value — and that includes the most recent tech advancements in the auto industry. We already have AR and VR, but as the metaverse continues to grow, we can expect even more from virtual car shopping experiences.