- August 20, 2018
- Posted by: Kari Jones
- Category: Tips For Dealers
Technology is advancing at a remarkably rapid rate and it has and continues to shape retail experiences. It is likely that in ten years’ time, car dealerships will look quite different than they do now.
We have recently seen a clear shift in the way that some manufacturers and car dealers sell cars, providing customers with the option to choose a vehicle, a finance deal, and add-on products online as well as being able to book a test drive, pay a reservation fee and actually purchase a car online. We are even starting to see virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) being used by dealers.
While the transition to digital car sales is gradual, few industry experts see it as a trend that is going to decline. One big thing is missing from the experience of buying online, and that is being able to see, and test drive a car.
While you can take photos and videos from every angle to reflect the experience of seeing a vehicle in person, with VR technology, customers will be able to walk around a car and look at it from the comfort of their home.
The next step would be VR driving simulators to recreate the test drive experience, which are currently in production. Although individuals will not be able to physically feel the response of the car, they will be able to get a pretty accurate idea of the driving dynamics, handling and how the car functions.
A number of aspects involved in vehicle retailing can already be automated, including part-exchange valuations, sourcing and marketing and as AI technology continues to develop, new ways for car dealers to embrace it are emerging.
A lot of resources have been invested into perfecting self-driving cars, and it looks like fully autonomous cars will be a part of our future. The thought of this may make some people uncomfortable, but there could be certain advantages for dealers.
Imagine cars driving themselves to auctions, your workshop or even to a customer. This would eliminate the need for large transportation trucks and it also means that you could offer delivery without needing to lose a member of staff for several hours.
Stores and Experiences
The infrastructure of dealerships is also likely to change. Ford has already begun to introduce its own retail stores, which feature tablets and full-scale interactive displays for consumers to customise their own vehicle.
Many have also speculated that dealerships could become bigger, placing a much greater emphasis on providing an experience, with the introduction of VR simulators and drive-in servicing, where customers can have a coffee and relax while they wait for work to be completed on their vehicle or for their electric car to be charged.
No one can say for sure what the future holds, but most experts seem to be convinced that big changes are coming.
To start embracing the future of automotive retail, find out more about how ClickEngage™ can help your dealership sell vehicles online by calling 01782 904 715, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or sending us a message via our contact page.