The reason why car dealership marketers should reevaluate physical showrooms and consider an immediate transition towards virtual showrooms.
After completing the second round of my Covid-19 vaccination, I have started planning for those long gone road trips along the coast line and the countryside. Well, for those trips to happen, I will either need to get my idle car fixed or buy a new budget or used car. Scrolling through several car dealerships around my hood, I have realized that the car dealerships didn’t really adapt to last year’s digital transformation. Shouldn’t they? It seems that there is a solid explanation why. James Browne from Automotive World says that car dealership sector is way behind other sectors when it comes to digital transformation.
So the question is why car dealerships should reevaluate physical showrooms and consider virtual showrooms instead?
Let's take it from the beginning...
What is a virtual showroom?
A virtual showroom is an online place that companies use to add their products, in this case cars and other information about their store - in a way is an extension to the physical showroom. Virtual visitors can interact with the cars, discuss with sales agents, download the latest catalogues, or even watch a live car demonstration. How cool is that? Katy Wright, the managing director of FCB Inferno, which has been handling BMW’s UK creative account since 2014, speaks to The Drum mentioning “It has become clear that a strong digital presence can influence a car purchase, whether the transaction is finalized in-store or online”. Awesome!
Virtual showroom of a automotive company illustrates the company’s branding, products and get-in-touch buttons
Clearly, marketers and companies are rushing to shift from physical showrooms to online experiences to open up their channels and broaden their audience. Wondering why? Because it’s effective for companies and provides convenience to customers.
So, let’s see why automotive companies need a virtual showroom and an immediate shift to a stronger online presence.
1. Create a new lead generation channel
Digital showroom can become a major sales channel and is disruption-proof as it’s fully online and needs less maintenance than the physical twin.
A real 360-degree capture of the car helps the customer to visualize how the car looks from the inside and the feeling from the driver seat
2. Be different than the car dealership down the corner
Brand differentiation is constantly creating more opportunities for all the online-based companies: new audiences, new markets. Virtual showrooms and online stores provide the flexibility to clients to learn about your services and book a test drive at their convenience.
3. Put your car dealership in the physical showroom list of the client
It’s obvious that people who are searching to buy a car will not visit all the car dealerships in the city. However, they will check all the websites. Make sure you have a strong online marketing presence for your car dealership in order to convert them into a physical showroom visit.
4. Increase the visualization and the awareness of your cars and services
Physical catalogues (usually tomes of them) is an outdated practice that companies still use in order to showcase all the products and varieties they offer. The digital showroom replaces the physical catalogue allowing you to add any information about your cars in readable way.
Virtual showroom enables customers to see all the possibilities, experience all the colors and explore more about the extra features
5. Create a fun experience for your customers
Physical showrooms have the space versus cost constraint. Not enough space to display all the cars, colours and functions. How many times have you gone to a dealership and the color you love is not on display? Sounds familiar, right? In the virtual showroom this is not a problem; 3D car models and 360-degree spin-offs resemble the real car’s color and size.
6. Learn more about potential clients’ behavior
A tremendous benefit of digital showrooms is the data. Insights such as clicks, duration of interacting with the car, prospects’ location, are not usually tracked when a customer visits a physical showroom. Thus cannot be used in future campaigns in order to precisely target potential clients.
A virtual showroom is the key to the car dealership marketing and a strong online presence. Transform your automotive company today by taking a step forward to digital transformation.
Ready to get started? Read how to build a virtual showroom in seven simple steps.