Have you recently bought a new car and, if so, did you enjoy the experience?
I, personally, love walking into the dealership and seeing all the new shiny cars… I especially like the ones I cannot afford! That being said, buying a new car can be a very complicated and drawn out process if you don’t know what you need or want in the first place!
What if you could envision your new car without even visiting a dealership? Well, by using augmented reality, car dealerships across the UK are aiming to do exactly that. This new immersive approach is allowing customers to make informed decisions about their new car whilst allowing them to interact fully with it before they actually see the physical version.
Just imagine for a second that you are viewing your dream car in a virtual world, at any time, in a location of your choice. You could choose the alloy design, change the colour, or if you fancy jumping inside and having a good look around you can do that too!
I have seen a few videos recently where you can even turn the radio on or test the headlights out if that’s your thing. All of this sounds very cool and hi-tech… but is it enough to convince you to actually buy a new car?
For me, it’s a big no at this point. I tend to go for the comfort test first and the actual aesthetics of the car tend to come second. So, for me, the fact that I cannot physically touch the car would make me a little wary. That’s not to say, however, that augmented reality isn’t going to change the way we buy cars, because it is. We already do most of our research for new big purchases online anyway, and AR is set to become a key part of everyday life as time goes on, so there’s plenty to suggest that pre-purchase research will navigate towards the realm of augmented reality before long.
It is incredibly quick and easy to navigate through the 50+ options that are available when kitting out your new car using just your smartphone. I particularly like the fact that AR allows retailers to educate a consumer in a virtual environment before they even think about entering the physical store or showroom. By the time a customer is ready for that all-important test drive, their mind is already partly made up. As such, it follows that it is, by now, much more likely that they will buy from you.
Augmented reality is quickly emerging as a solution to get more sales conversions across retail, with automotive being a key industry for this. The exposure that the use of AR in automotive marketing offers is a massive boost for augmented reality itself. Increased exposure to the technology will quickly help people to understand its potential. This extends beyond the automotive industry, into all areas where AR is set to make a difference, such as healthcare, travel, and manufacturing, as well as across other areas of retail, such as fashion and furnishings.