4 Videos That Digital Retail Customers Demand

4 Videos That Digital Retail Customers Demand

Videos are the only way to provide a showroom-like experience without being physically present. Start with these four videos for every vehicle on your VDPs.

First it was the pandemic, now it’s inventory shortages. In the last two and a half years, the volume of car shoppers in dealership showrooms has dropped dramatically. The big question is, when inventory levels normalize will showroom traffic return or will car buyers continue to shop online?

According to a Cars.com consumer survey in December 2021, 38% of car shoppers said they expect to complete the entire buying process online, with another 38% intending to purchase a vehicle in person but complete all paperwork online.  Additionally, 41% of recent shoppers plan to pre-order their next vehicle.

All the signs point to future car buyers spending more time online and less time in the showroom. For dealers, this means that at least half of their merchandising dollars and efforts should be spent online.

To engage digital retail customers, dealers should ensure that their websites are designed to deliver a showroom-like experience. Provide car shoppers with information they are looking for, including links to research. And of course, provide visually engaging videos designed to help customers whether they are in the discovery, research or buying phase.

According to Think with Google, over 70% of shoppers say online video has helped them learn more about an auto product they intend to buy. For customers who are willing to buy a vehicle sight unseen, these four videos are an essential part of the purchasing process. 

1. Live Inventory Videos

For digital retail customers, it’s very important that they see the actual vehicle they are going to buy, and not a stock video. Live inventory videos do not take much time to make. Simply walk around the vehicle using your smartphone to record a video, then upload to a video marketing platform via an app. 

In live inventory videos, it’s important to show any flaws a vehicle has, such as dings or scratches. Don’t try to hide flaws as customers will discover them when they come to pick up the vehicle, and you will have an unhappy customer. Many people are willing to buy a vehicle with flaws, they just want to know what they are getting in advance. 

2. Virtual Test Drive Videos

If a car buyer is not able, or does not want to do a test drive, a virtual test drive is the next best thing. Mount a camera to the dash and take it for a short drive through your neighborhood, or purchase virtual test drive videos for every make and model that your dealership stocks.

During the test drive, comment on how noisy or quiet the drive is, whether the drive is smooth or a little rough, and how the car handles during turns. Again, you want to give an accurate depiction of the experience, so that consumers know exactly what to expect.  

3. Interactive Videos

Interactive videos allow car shoppers to explore a vehicle’s features at their own pace. Sometimes what you might think is important and want to include in an inventory video, is not important to the consumer, and vice versa. Additionally, interactive videos keep customers engaged with both the vehicle and your dealership’s brand. 

4. Vehicle Special Features 

Last but not least, make a separate video focusing on special features that a vehicle has. Open the hood of the engine and show the engine running. If the vehicle comes with any special accessories, mention and show them in the video. If a pre-paid maintenance (PPM) or vehicle service contract (VSC) comes with the vehicle, mention these benefits as well.

The more customers who buy vehicles online, the more detailed information they will want on vehicles in advance. Videos are the only way to provide a showroom-like experience without having customers physically present. Start with these four videos for every vehicle on your VDPs, to help customers travel from the discovery and research phase to the final decision, all while on your website. 

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