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The New Reality of Buying a Car

With virtual reality, you can showcase all models, colors and options that are available. It allows your customer to experience each option, without the need to have it in stock.

Jason Girdner is the CEO of Tecobi

When this generation’s children grow up and start buying cars, it will look a lot different than it does now. Rather than go into a dealership, they will simply throw on their virtual reality (VR) glasses and hop inside each car they want to check out. All auto dealerships need to be prepared. Think about it: you’ll be able to shop for a car without ever driving to the store.

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Car Buying of the Future

The pandemic accelerated the shift to digital retail that had already begun in the auto industry. Most car buyers, especially young ones, hate the traditional process. The solution lies in technology. 

In the future, consumers won’t have to leave their couch to sit inside the car they consider purchasing. Instead, they can put on their VR glasses, and do it wherever they want: from the couch, desk or even their bed. Virtual reality is a next-gen shopping experience.

While, right now, there are some limitations (for example, I can see the leather in new Volvo, but not feel it), it’s easy to see the appeal. 

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I’ll admit it, I’m a nerd … computers, technology and cars … I love this stuff. I am always thinking of new ways to make it easier for dealerships to sell cars. So let’s talk about how VR can help future-proof your business.

How VR can Help

Start by posting a photo or video of the inside of each one of your vehicles. Or, you can even have a salesperson do a walk-around of the vehicle in VR. 

In this virtual space, customers can ask you questions as you show them around the vehicle. You can show off the front, back, engine — everything they want and need to see to buy the car. Buyers can also invite their friends in and show off the car and ask for advice. 

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Benefits of VR for Dealers

Less Inventory Required — We all know that the automotive industry is facing a shortage of vehicles right now for a myriad of reasons. Even normally, it can be hard to keep vehicles that are in high demand in stock. With virtual reality, you can showcase all models, colors and options that are available. It allows your customer to experience each option, without the need to have it in stock.

Reduced Costs for Dealerships — Sure, you might need to invest in some equipment to properly outfit your dealership for virtual reality. But think of all the cash you’ll save on floor space, shop assistants and car models when you don’t have to display them all in your showroom. 

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Beat the Competition — It can be hard to beat the dealership down the street when you’re both offering the same products at around the same price point. If you offer something new and exciting, you get a competitive advantage.

Benefits of VR for Car Buyers

Better Buying Experience — The automotive industry is already shifting gears to a customer-centric approach. Consumers usually begin their sales journey online. If you can offer a more complete online experience, you’re way ahead of your peers. 

Fully Personalized Experience — Personalization is key to the buying process in 2022. VR will eventually allow the customer to see themselves in the vehicle and tailor it to their exact wants and needs.

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Saves Time — Most people are in the process of buying a car for an average of 89 days. That’s almost three months. Consumers can drastically cut this time by not having to visit multiple dealerships in person.

The VR Car-Buying Experience

Virtual reality will start driving the car-buying experience in the near future. VR is how our children will browse vehicles and other big-ticket items online. Don’t get left behind. Start taking 360-degree images or videos of your vehicles. There are certain cameras you can buy to do this, and it will be a worthwhile investment.

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