Swartz, CEO of Fenton Family Dealerships in East Swanzey, N.H., piloted the walkarounds at Toyota of Keene in East Swanzey several years ago before it was adopted by the group's other dealerships, which sell Honda, Hyundai, Subaru and Volvo.
A quick perusal of Fenton Family sites shows vehicle pages where consumers can get 360-degree views of exteriors and interiors, which include clickable icons on different areas to explain features and provide closer views.
A click on the hood's icon, for example, shows potential customers what the engine looks like, while tapping the icon near the brakes of a Honda Civic will bring up a quick explainer of that model's four-wheel disc brake setup.
The SpinCar walkarounds can be accessed through desktop computers or mobile devices. With the mobile view, customers can spin the vehicle and check out the interior using their finger, or by moving the phone around. Desktop shoppers can navigate with a mouse.
Swartz said the level of interactivity has set the Fenton stores apart from competitors that still fill their detail pages with static photos. For online shoppers, it's one step closer to experiencing the car in person.
"We've had shoppers who said they were shopping on other sites that didn't have this feature," Swartz said, "and they recommended friends and family to go to our site that had this feature so they could look through the car and take a really good look."
SpinCar, complementing its vehicle walkaround tool, has added another layer to vehicle detail pages that replaces long feature lists with what it calls Feature Tour.
The tour function allows shoppers to select features they're interested in learning about from categories such as safety and performance on the detail page. The system then highlights the most relevant features and options with descriptions of systems such as blind-spot monitor, lane-departure warning or adaptive cruise control. Video can be worked into the tours as well.