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Lookers trials 3D virtual showroom concept

ZeroLight VR headset in action

Lookers is among a number of car dealer group’s trialling a 3D virtual showroom tour as part of efforts to engage with a wider audience online.

The AM100 group has integrated software created by Radar Video into its website and the online marketing specialist claims that the innovative approach will help to will boost dealers’ social media marketing enquiries and sales.

The online virtual showroom allows buyers to move around the dealership and ‘sit inside’ a vehicle to explore its technology and features. 

Customers click on a Facebook ad to launch the virtual showroom and when the user interacts with a particular vehicle on the dealer’s website, Facebook tracking allows the dealer to target those viewers with a personalised offer on a particular model. 

Derek Blair, founder of Radar Video, said: “We have put innovation at the heart of our business model because we know that dealers are always looking for cost effective ways to reach new customers.

“There are indisputable quantities of data to show that customers have integrated video into their purchase process and this new 3D showroom tool allows them to explore your dealership from the comfort of their sofa. We believe the trial will show that it builds trust and drives qualified traffic.”

Radar Video argues that Facebook and Instagram are untapped channels for dealers.

With over 5m potential new car buyers using these sites daily, the platform’s geo-targeting enables dealers to target customers on their doorstep.

Blair added: “Since Facebook throttled back organic reach of posts, its advertising platform offers a unique opportunity to start the customer journey and encourage them to enquire.”

Lookers chief executive Andy Bruce said: "This is an interesting and innovative concept and it's something we intend to explore further.” 

In June AM reported that research comissioned by virtual showroom specialists at ZeroLight had found that 82% of EU consumers may prefer a virtual reality (VR) dealership experience over traditional sales practices.

The research asked 1,000 motorists over the EU about virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) technologies and 82% of respondents indicated an interest to see, explore and configure a car to their preference VR/AR technology prior to purchase – with just 5% disagreeing.

ZeroLight’s associate marketing director, Joseph Artgole, said: “Immersive technologies offer a perspective that is wholly unique to the medium. Seeing the vehicle in front of you to scale as you create it is truly compelling, driving value at any stage of the customer journey whilst delivering efficiencies for the brand.”

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