Augmented Reality Is Disrupting Car Retail

Across many different industries and sectors, Augmented Reality (AR) has changed the way customers shop. The automotive industry is no different.

When people are investing in a new automobile, they always need two things in order to make an informed purchase: the right information, and an emotional connection to the vehicle.

The challenge for automakers is how to provide both in a fun, fast, and engaging way that parallels the instant gratification that consumers are becoming accustomed to when shopping for other products.

Augmented reality is meeting this challenge by allowing automotive dealers to provide immersive marketing experiences to their customers. This technology is designed to build interest and excitement about your vehicles so that by the time the customer actually visits your dealership, their mind is already leaning toward making a purchase.

How Augmented Reality is used in Car Retail

Imagine being able to place a life-size 3D image of the car you are considering in your driveway. The technology is so good that you’d be able to walk around the car, open the door and peer inside it. It offers an intriguing try-it-before-you-buy it opportunity to prospective car buyers.

Car dealerships can use AR on their website to bring augmented-reality experiences to prospective car buyers online. Virtual car tours that even allow people to virtually sit inside the car to see what it might feel like to own it are made possible by this technology.

Jaguar Land Rover, for example, has taken digital initiative with augmented reality to show off a new vehicle in physical showrooms before it goes on real sale.

The marker was placed on the showroom floor and visitors were enabled to view 3D model of Discovery Sport and explore its interior after putting on a Durovis Dive headset. The headset contained iPhone 5S preloaded with an AR app.

Dealerships can also create immersive shopping experiences through social media like Toyota BC has done. By allowing customers to launch the app on the Toyota BC Facebook page to build the car of their dreams, the auto retailer is looking to create an immediate emotional connection between the consumer and the product.

The good news for consumers is that there are no special goggles needed to immerse themselves into these engaging AR experiences. All they need is their cell phone camera to build a car they like, after which they can visit the showroom to try out the physical vehicle.

Hyundai recently launched a unique augmented reality automotive sales tool that was developed for Australian car dealerships. The AR app, which runs on iPads, helps sales staff to demonstrate the features and performance of Hyundai’s new i30 hatchback:

Making the technical information as accessible as possible is often a key part of the automotive sales process. Augmented reality provides a unique way for customers to see and experience technical features in a way that they will easily understand and quickly engage with.

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