Customers Want To Test New Cars in VR Before Purchase [Updated]

Research by ZeroLight shows evidence of a growing consumer demand for 'Try before you buy' VR.

New research from automotive visualisation company ZeroLight has been conducting an extensive poll of European economies and has uncovered evidence of a growing demand for use of immerse technology such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) in automotive retail.

The main point of the survey was the following statement:
“I would like to see, explore and configure a car to my preference at scale using immersive technology (VR/AR) prior to purchase.”

A massive 82% of respondents agreed with the statement, with only 5% disagreeing. Support for Vr/AR technologies in automotive retail was strongest in the 25-34 age bracket, though all age ranges showing strong support for the statement.

The survey also found that almost two-thirds of the public polled said they would be more likely to visit a dealership if they knew that immersive technology was in place. An example provided was a virtual test drive. 50% of people polled also said that they would be more likely to view more of the dealer’s range of cars if immersive technology such as VR and AR were on offer.

Joseph Artgole, Associate Marketing Director at ZeroLight, said of the results: “We know that customers demand digital-led experiences that offer them complete control over their purchase. What we see here is further validation of VR within the automotive retail space. 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.”

78% of respondents also agrees with the statement: “I would expect to feel a greater sense of connection with a brand when using immersive technologies such as VR/AR versus other mediums.”

“Mediums such as VR & AR allow dealerships to add value and differentiate themselves within the marketplace, creating a new layer of discovery that’s helping to arrest the recent decline in visits from the public.” says Artgole. “If you’re going to deploy a commercial experience designed to be part of a customer journey, you need to allow the customer to naturally formulate an opinion. They need to be able to perceive the product with absolute clarity and react intuitively within the digital space.”

VRFocus will bring you further information on developments within the VR/AR industry as it becomes available.

Update: VRFocus wrote that ‘85% of respondents agreed with the statement’ when it was actually 82%. Apologies for the mistake.

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