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3D Car Configurator (developed by IBM & Zerolight)

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3D Car Configurator (developed by IBM & Zerolight)

Marketing VR Facilitates Car Buying

 The age-old rituals of buying a car in America die-hard – but die they do. While consumers have been using the Internet to research car purchases for as long as there has been an Internet, many now are looking to buy cars online – just like they would buy a shirt, coffee, or any of the millions of other items consumers purchase on the web. Surveys from Capgemini show that car buyers find the experience of visiting a dealer boring, confrontational and bureaucratic. While an Economist story cites that potential customers “want someone to talk them through all the features that cars come with these days – entertainment systems, navigation services, automated parking and so on.”

Marketing VR, video, the Internet, and other technologies can show buyers the virtue of buying a particular car – with knowledgeable salespeople on the other side of the connection who can guide buyers on the most important features and show how to use them. How about an online system that allows drivers to take a virtual test drive from home? That is the idea behind the 3D Car Configurator, being developed by IBM and Zero light. With Marketing VR, car buyers can have a retail experience by zooming in on minute details such as the stitching, opening the doors and trunk, turning on and hearing the engine, and taking a virtual test drive in a setting of their choice. Besides 3D, video can play an important role in the online showrooms of the future. With video, salespeople can reach out and guide customers on which features they should look at, how they work and how they stack up against the competition. With the assistance of an online salesperson, customers can get the information they need to decide without pressure.

Dealing with salespeople would become something customers seek out, so they can learn about the product. The pressure of in-showroom sales pitches is removed, providing for a healthier relationship between salesperson and customer. If a customer does not like the way the conversation is going, all they have to do is shut the video connection. When that happens to salespeople once or twice, you can be sure that they will quickly adapt to their new role of information source instead of a high-pressure salesperson. Car salespeople may find their reputations greatly enhanced. That may be one of the biggest changes in the future of car selling.

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