Cox Automotives 2019 Car Buyer Journey Study revealed that utilizing smartphones for car shopping increased “…11 percentage points year over year.” As Cox points out, this boost in the use of smartphones means that the shopping experience needs to be accessible via all types of devices.
Computers are now handheld, thanks to tablets and phones.Shopping and research methodologies available online also have evolved, and they continue to become more unique, interactive and immersive to meet the ever changing demands of the consumer. A car visualizer tool, for example, may integrate technology like augmented reality or virtual reality to help shoppers preview different makes and models and even swap out paint hues.
A car visualizer helps buyers imagine the possibilities of their dream car when shopping or researching online. But how does this unique tool actually benefit the shopper? And what are the costs of using this type of technology?
Car shopping might begin at home…and online. Cars are an expensive purchase, so buyers might be hesitant to spend money on just the research aspect of their hunt.
Check out many different vehicles online, and make a list of favorites before heading to the dealerships! There also aren’t a maximum number of cars that can be previewed or visualized via RelayCars. Have fun looking at all of them!
What Can Shoppers Visualize with a Car Visualizer?
Consumers can choose from a long list of makes and models to preview online. Images are shown to scale in 3D.
The virtual reality showroom lets shoppers view the car from different angles or vantage points to get a better idea of the design of the vehicle. Shoppers also can look inside the car to see the interior features or check out the space in the backseat. Use the mouse to navigate around the vehicle and see images of specific details.
The car visualizer tool also lets shoppers change the paint colors of the automobile. Some buyers have a color preference, but others might not care about those hues. This option lets shoppers preview many different paint colors, and this could lead to shoppers finding a personal preference among those options.
For pre-owned cars, buyers might not be able to choose their favorite hue. Previewing different colors can help buyers see what each option looks like. When they begin their in-person hunt, they can be better prepared for all the color options they might come across on the lots.
How Can a Car Visualizer Save Time?
Cox Automotive also notes that almost two-thirds of consumers (65 percent) visit third-party sites first during their shopping journey. And while Cox’s survey notes that buyers will visit an average of 2.5 dealerships, “…41% of car buyers only visit one dealership.”
When buyers can research vehicles online, perhaps they have more knowledge going into a dealership regarding what they really want and need. For this reason, a car visualizer might save buyers time during those in-person visits.
Viewing cars online allows buyers to get up close with different makes and models. They may be able to rule out certain vehicles, and may even create a list of the models that they want to focus on during their visit to the dealership.
A Car Visualizer: A Virtual Showroom…and a Virtual Car Lot!
RelayCars’ online virtual car visualizer is technically a virtual showroom. Using this online tool, shoppers can choose one model to explore at a time. However, this tool also can serve as a virtual car lot, too.
When shoppers have a specific preference regarding the make of the car—e.g. Ford, Subaru, Toyota, Nissan, etc.—they can use the car showroom to preview all the different models from that manufacturer.
Maybe the consumer is trying to decide between a few different models of a brand. A virtual car visualizer lets the shopper explore all the different models both inside and out! Look at the model in different colors, too!
The visit to the car dealership may then just focus on test drives, paperwork and negotiations. When the buyer already knows the details of their favorite models, they can focus on the purchase…and finalizing the deal!
Is a Car Visualizer Compatible with all Devices?
RelayCars’ virtual reality showroom can be viewed online using a high-speed internet connection. The speed of the connection, however, can affect how quickly photos and images load on the tool.
Consumers can use RelayCars on their personal computer, laptop or handheld device (phone or tablet). Don’t worry about downloading any apps or data; just visit the site to preview all the different vehicles.
Navigating the car visualizer (or virtual car showroom) is easy! Just use the mouse to move around the vehicle and see the car from different perspectives. The showroom offers viewing options, which can be found at the bottom of the web page. Users can choose to view the car’s exterior, interior or click through different paint colors to change the look of the car. Most models offer numerous paint color options.
Does Virtual Reality Require a Headset?
RelayCars offers a virtual showroom to preview different vehicles. While some virtual reality experiences can only be accessed via a headset, RelayCars is accessible by anyone with a fast internet connection. No headset required.
The ‘virtual’ aspect of the showroom is that it exists in an online or virtual space. The cars are represented in scaled models and images are 3D. All aspects of the experience are immersive. Users can explore all different aspects of a vehicle, and, in this way, can enjoy a virtual reality showroom without investing in any extra technology or equipment.
How Many Cars Are Available via a Car Visualizer?
Using RelayCars’ virtual reality showroom allows shoppers to access new and older cars from almost every manufacturer.
Most makes include earlier models dating from 2015 (depending on the vehicle model) and go up to current models. Shoppers looking for a pre-owned car can explore these earlier models to help them during their hunt. While the cars via RelayCars are not pre-owned depictions, they are model representations of those particular vehicles.
Buyers should keep in mind that pre-owned models could vary regarding their features, condition and/or other details. While virtual car visualizers can help those looking for a pre-owned vehicle see a particular year’s model, a visit to the dealership allows buyers to get up close to pre-owned vehicles…and to test the vehicle on the road.
When consumers have researched an estimated price and have determined that this is the car for their budget and lifestyle, it might be time for a trip to the dealership. Online resources might have armed the consumer with all the information they need to negotiate or just finalize the deal.
The dealership is also the place to take those dream vehicles for a test drive. While online tools can help shoppers visualize the car and even find pricing, driving the car might be what makes…or breaks…the deal. Sometimes even the most perfect car might not be what the shopper is looking for on the road. But even if the test drive ends on a low note, research from the car visualizer might allow the consumer to have a few back-up options to take for a spin.
Consumers beginning their car shopping journey can visit RelayCars to check out all the different vehicle options and find their favorites. Make a list of a few options, price them out via other websites or sources and then head to the dealership to find the best car for the budget.