Virtual reality is a multi-billion dollar industry. While this technology was once a reality that seemed only like a virtual possibility, today virtual technology heightens the user experience in games, shopping and even communication.
The possibilities for this industry really are endless. With autonomous cars peeking out from the horizon of the internet superhighway, virtual reality may become the norm in communication and high-tech experiences. Will everyone wear a headset? Or perhaps virtual reality experiences will be accessible through sleek glasses.
Virtual reality has disrupted the automobile industry in many ways and has changed how consumers shop for a new (or used) vehicle. Virtual reality showrooms like RelayCars provide consumers with a way to experience the shopping experience without actually stepping into a physical dealership. The virtual reality app doesn’t allow the consumer to click ‘buy,’ it does provide insight into many makes and models.
How does a virtual reality car showroom work? Why should consumers take advantage of these unique experiences while hunting for their dream car? Here’s everything consumers need to know about RelayCars’ virtual reality showroom.
What is a Virtual Reality Showroom?
When consumers think of virtual reality, they often assume that the gateway to such experiences is an expensive headset. RelayCars’ virtual reality showroom is accessible with or without a headset, however.
The RelayCars virtual reality showroom app can be downloaded to many Apple or Android devices. The virtual showroom is simply an interactive three-dimensional experience. The fingertips are the only tools users need to navigate around the experience in the traditional app.
For consumers who do have access to a virtual reality headset, RelayCars also can be downloaded via Steam. This allows consumers to access the virtual reality showroom as a truly immerse virtual reality experience. While the traditional app shows cars in a three-dimensional website type layout, the Steam app lets users actually enter the showroom. They can step into the experience and examine each different vehicle up close.
Why Should Consumers Use a Virtual Reality Showroom?
Using a virtual reality showroom allows consumers to research the cars that interest them before visiting a dealership. Virtual reality showrooms are open 24/7, and there are no sales people who engage consumers during the process.
Visiting a virtual reality showroom can be done at the consumer’s leisure. There is no sales pressure, no hassles, and no price tags. Consumers can preview different cars from a wide range of price points. While many consumers might not feel comfortable perusing the models at a Lamborghini dealership if they don’t have the funds to purchase a vehicle, they can check out many luxury models via a virtual reality showroom.
These virtual tools can be used for fun as well as for shopping research. Some consumers may visit RelayCars to gain more knowledge about a particular vehicle, or they may stumble onto the app and play around in the virtual showroom to look at many different models.
There are so many ways—and reasons—to visit a virtual reality showroom. RelayCars doesn’t care why a consumer visits, we’re happy you visited! Car shopping should be fun!
Why should consumers use a virtual reality showroom? For fun, for research…for whatever reason they wish!
How Much Does a Virtual Reality Showroom Cost?
Visiting a bricks and mortar car dealership doesn’t cost a fee, although sales teams might be on the lookout for the serious buyer. Downloading RelayCars virtual reality app is free, too, on Steam, Google Play and the App Store.
There are no monthly fees to use the app or to check out all the cars in the virtual inventory.
What are the Features of a Virtual Reality Showroom?
Virtual reality is an immersive experience, and the headset fully immerses the user into the virtual world. Again, though, the RelayCars virtual reality showroom can be accessed with or without a virtual reality headset.
Once users download the app, they can begin exploring different cars. Choose a make and model, and the app transports the user into a three-dimensional showroom. Those using the app without a headset will view the showroom in a similar way as a web page. However, the vehicle will be shown in three dimensions. Users can turn the car around, change the paint colors and look inside the vehicle.
Using a virtual reality headset, users become a part of the experience in true virtual reality fashion. Step into the showroom and walk around the vehicle. Peek inside the car and use tools to change the paint color, too.
Using the apps also doesn’t start some type of user time clock. Consumers can experience the virtual reality showroom for as long as they wish. There also aren’t any parameters or limits related to the number of cars and vehicles that users can explore. Have fun, and check out all the different vehicles.
What is an Augmented Reality Showroom?
Users may notice two different apps when they search for RelayCars via the App Store or Google Play. RelayCars offers both a virtual reality showroom app and an augmented reality showroom app. What is the difference between the two options?
The virtual reality app showcases cars in a virtual environment. Whether users experience the showroom with or without goggles, the vehicles will be displayed in a three-dimensional showroom separate from their own environment. The showroom will be visible on the screen (for those without a headset) and in what seems like a separate realm (with the headset.
The augmented reality showroom, however, allows users to bring the vehicle of their choice into their own environment. Users can preview a vehicle in a living room, a bedroom, in a garage, outside or even on the driveway. The car drops into whatever environment the user chooses. Once the vehicle is placed in the physical environment, consumers can use their device to view the vehicle, walk around it and explore all its features. The augmented reality showroom also allows users to swap out paint hues.
Vehicle selection also is a bit more limited on the augmented reality app than the virtual reality app. However, new makes and models are being integrated into both apps regularly.
How Many Vehicles are Available in the Virtual Reality Showroom?
Users visiting the virtual reality showroom app may be surprised at the number of vehicles that they can experience and preview. Just how many vehicles are in RelayCars’ online inventory?
For the virtual reality showroom, RelayCars offers many used and new models of virtually all the major automobile manufacturers. The online inventory includes models from more than 40 manufacturers, from Acura to Volvo. Luxury manufacturers like Lamborghini, Jaguar, Bentley and Ferrari also can be previewed in virtual reality.
How Can Consumers Use the Virtual Reality Showroom for Shopping?
While consumers can’t purchase a car directly through RelayCars’ virtual or augmented reality apps or showrooms, these tech-savvy tools can be used by consumers to help narrow down their shopping list. Virtual showrooms allow consumers to take their time in investigating different vehicles.
Shoppers who are on the fence about a particular model or who might be new to a certain brand can download the app and preview the car from the comfort of home. There are no sales teams who will email a visitor about the car they previewed. There is no pressure.
Some consumers may spend a great deal of time visiting different dealerships and looking at multiple models. With virtual reality showrooms, consumers can cut down their drive time and focus on finding the car that fits their needs and their lifestyle. Once they’ve narrowed down their choices, they can begin researching dealerships in the area and any applicable promotions, sales or incentives.
RelayCars helps simplify the shopping process by streamlining the experience. While virtual or augmented reality doesn’t allow for a tactile experience (yet!), visitors to the virtual reality showrooms can still gain a wealth of information about the car’s interior option, space constraints and, of course, the physical appearance of both the interior and exterior features. As the virtual showroom also lets users swap out paint hues, shoppers can gain a sense of how a color will look before they buy the car. Not every dealership has the full spectrum of paint hues on the lot.
After the Virtual…Visit the Dealership
When using a virtual reality showroom, consumers might choose to make a list of their top makes and models. This can help narrow down choices at the dealership.
Visiting the dealership may be the final step of the shopping process. While a lot of information about a vehicle can be found via a virtual reality showroom, the physical aspects of the car can really only be ascertained at the dealership.
Consumers will likely want to sit in their favorite models and even request a test drive. While a vehicle may seem perfect in virtual reality and even on the lot, if the consumer doesn’t like how the car drives or feels cramped while driving, then it might not be the dream car. This is why consumers may want to visit the dealership with at least a few models in mind.
The budget also becomes part of the dream car reality. When researching a car in virtual reality, consumers also should hunt down the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) to find out just where that car sits in relation to the budget. While this dollar amount may nudge a bit with a trade-in, dealer incentives and other promotions, consumers need to know their budget when shopping. While that Lamborghini might be the car of your dreams, it may be completely out of the budget.
Sometimes a car dealership can feel like a pressure-cooker; that is, the buyer may feel pressured to commit to buying a car. It’s perfectly ok to walk away to think, to review the budget or to hunt for a better price or loan. Bankrate explains that it isn’t uncommon for sales people to keep shoppers at the dealership for a long time. Why? The site explains that hunger or simply being tired gives the salesperson the advantage.
Buying a Car Without Seeing it in Person?
During Covid many dealerships were closed to foot traffic. This might have put buyers in an odd predicament when shopping for a new car. While the automotive industry wasn’t in a rush to head online for sales, Covid might have pushed many dealerships in that direction.
Cars were delivered to shoppers for virtual test drives, and dealerships likely had to get creative in many aspects of the sales process. Shoppers likely utilized online sales assistants for questions related to vehicle availability.
The rising popularity of the online car market, though, leads to the question of if a consumer needs to see the car before purchasing. Many shoppers will likely prefer to head to the dealership to physically see the vehicle or at least request a virtual test drive at home.
Testing out the vehicle can be extremely valuable for consumers; while seeing a car in virtual reality provides a physical preview of the vehicle, it doesn’t provide consumers with an understanding of the actual feel of the vehicle. Not all vehicles are comfortable for everyone. The mechanics or features of a car might not be appealing.
Testing out the car at a dealership or at home provides a better understanding about the car’s mechanics and if that vehicle is a good fit for the lifestyle of the individual. No one wants to buy a car only to realize that they have to adjust the driver’s seat so far that their child has no leg room in the back seat!
Virtual Reality Car Showroom: A Powerful Shopping Tool
The virtual reality showroom provides a powerful shopping tool for consumers. Previewing a car in virtual reality allows consumers to better understand the basic features of the vehicle. This high-tech showroom provides an understanding of the car’s design and space limitations.
Vehicles previewed in virtual reality allow consumers to better narrow down their car wish lists and to preview vehicles that might not have been available to them in a standard dealership. Virtual reality showrooms also can provide a leisurely window shopping experience…from home. Consumers can look at as many cars as they wish without any sales pressure. Virtual reality accelerates the excitement of the shopping joyride and puts the brakes on the fear of the hard sale.