Dan Cummins Chevrolet-Buick has turned to the virtual realm to build real connections to its products and add some flair to customers' otherwise mundane task of vehicle research.
The Paris, Ky., dealership deploys a series of virtual reality test-drive videos for the Chevy Camaro and Malibu cars and Colorado and Silverado pickups that gives prospects a chance to go for a spin, whether they're browsing online on their mobile devices and computers or donning a headset at the dealership while waiting for their vehicle to be serviced.
The videos, which allow viewers to look around the vehicle while a staffer drives and explains the various technologies, provide a safe environment for consumers to get an up-close demonstration of features they likely wouldn't try on their own during a test drive. Virtual rides for the Cruze car and Equinox crossover are on the way, and the dealership plans to release videos for Spanish-speaking audiences as well, said Kent Wilson, the store's digital marketing director.
"You're not going to test drive lane-keep assist in a $30,000 vehicle that you don't own, or the auto braking. [These are] features that we always hear about, or that they show in the commercials, but you're not going to try them," Wilson told Automotive News. "We want to establish education on the product and the features, but also do so in an environment that increases excitement."
Instead of having customers read through long lists of features on a vehicle detail page, stores such as Dan Cummins Chevrolet-Buick are relaying information via the virtual test drives and 360-degree walkarounds on dealer sites.