AUGMENTED reality (AR) will become a vital tool in new vehicle sales processes over the next five years and, by 2021, 72 per cent of dealers will use advanced immersive technology to present products online and in dealerships, according to a recent survey.
CDK Global, the world’s largest DMS provider, surveyed leading dealer principals and also found that 83 per cent agree that by 2021 there will be a material decline in the numbers of UK dealerships, as running multiple sites becomes less cost-effective. Dealership networks are expected to consolidate to central hubs or in to high-footfall retail locations, making technology essential to engage with customers and gather valuable consumer intelligence.
Neil Packham, president of CDK International, said: ‘CDK Global is working with retailers to look at future automotive trends. In just five years customers will expect dealers to use advanced technologies as part of the sales process. Augmented reality will become the norm, enabling customers to experience the full spectrum of products, options and specifications anytime at the touch of a button.’
Emerging technologies such as augmented reality will enhance how physical products are presented to customers online, adding digital information to create an immersive and interactive experience. AR innovations involving existing technology such as Google Street View, which already supports full virtual car dealership tours, will give consumers the opportunity to explore and configure models in real-life dealership settings.
This technology would give dealers the opportunity to present entire model ranges digitally in a smaller retail space or allow customers to configure cars in a virtual dealership environment. The emergence of virtual reality headsets and 360 degree film technology is creating further opportunities for dealers to interact in new ways, as customer journeys become increasingly reliant on digital channels.
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