The automotive sector is known to be one of the biggest pioneers of new technology. Due to stiff competition, innovation in the industry is one of the highest, with manufacturers developing new and intelligent ways to improve the driving and customer experience.
Immersive experiences are expected to be the next big thing in the industry. Big players such as Toyota, Lucid, and Ford are experimenting with VR technologies to immerse customers shopping for cars more into their products and make a compelling case of why they should own a particular vehicle.
According to data, 80% of consumers agree that the experience they receive from a company when shopping is as crucial as their products or services. Therefore, your brand must invest in the best immersive technology to better serve its automotive customers and become one of the most preferred brands.
Why Immersive Experiences Matter in the Automotive Sector
Previously, experiences in the automotive sector have been designed as a one-size-fits-all solution. However, audiences within the automotive industry are different. In a simple context, existing car owners and potential prospects will respond differently to the same marketing message.
Therefore, modern auto brands are focused on building emotional connections instead of simple brand awareness. Customers need to feel personally connected to the brand, its products, and services, with a clear understanding of the value they get from the brand during purchase and the whole ownership experience.
Modern automakers are competing for advocacy more than just sales. They’re looking to build and maintain powerful customer relationships that are deliberate and inclusive.
For instance, Tesla has built a loyal tribe of enthusiasts through customer-focused events such as the Elon Musk Cyber Rodeo, which attracted a massive online audience. In this event, Elon directly answers customer questions on Twitter, among other personalized actions, creating a connected experience with the consumer.
Ford has also taken a similar approach, recently hosting the Mustang Stampede in Detroit. This event saw its customers gather for a unique experience of one of its most successful cars, the Ford Mustang.
The event also doubled as the launch of the all-new Mustang, with the thousands of fans in attendance treated like family and allowed to drive in convoys across the city to downtown.
The Transition to VR and the Metaverse
These immersive experiences have evolved from simple meet-ups for the company and its customers/enthusiasts to full-on VR experiences, some hosted in the metaverse.
Lucid is one of the pioneers of this new approach to immersive automotive experiences. The Lucid Experience lets you get inside a Lucid automobile and customize all the details to your liking, including the scenery you can see through the windows.
After realizing the power of being connected to its customers, Ford extended its customer experience to the virtual world, allowing customers to virtually test drive its new all-electric Ford Explorer for the European market.
This experience by Ford combines the best-in-class gaming technology with dynamic product storytelling to give a simulated and personalized driving experience for customers interested in the vehicle.
The Benefits of Immersive Automotive Experiences
The following are some of the top benefits of immersive automotive experiences for customers and brands.
New Showroom Experiences
Before visiting the showroom, car buyers start their journey online. According to data, 92% of car buyers research their preferred vehicle online before purchasing. However, this research process rarely provides the visual understanding the customer needs to make an informed purchase decision.
Immersive experiences through VR solve this issue, allowing customers to visualize and evaluate their preferred model from the comfort of their homes and make informed decisions about various details and options.
This is more engaging and detailed than perusing a brochure or online listing.
These experiences can also be made possible in the metaverse, using accurate 3D models of the vehicles the customers are shopping for. We partnered with VNTANA to allow brands to port 3D models of their products to the metaverse and make virtual experiences available to their metaverse audience, improving their reach and impact in the online market.
This includes elaborate 3D models of vehicles.
Personalization helps brands retain customers, remain relevant, and cultivate trust. According to data, 71% of consumers expect personalized experiences from their favorite brands.
Immersive experiences allow automakers to offer superior personalization for customers shopping for cars, with customers able to configure their choices through a VR configurator and explore various elements and options, such as color, accessories, and surface materials.
These changes happen in real time, with customers able to evaluate the impact of their changes and create a vehicle that suits their preferences.
Easy Test Drives
Apart from wanting to view the car’s appearance in a virtual environment, customers also want a virtual experience of how it drives. Allowing immersive automotive experiences to include virtual test drives is an excellent way to ensure customers make a clear decision and are confident about purchasing a car.
Virtual test drives give easy access to the vehicle’s dynamics and allow the customer to analyze the vehicle’s features on different terrains and dynamics, delivering a high degree of immersion and convenience.
Moreover, it is a safer option for most consumers and brands since there’s no risk of the customer damaging or crashing the vehicle, as would be true in a physical test drive.
Better Design and Development of New Vehicles
Providing customers with a more immersive shopping experience trickles its benefits down to your vehicle’s design, research, and development. Based on the feedback they’ve gotten from customers and other data, engineers and designers can test different design concepts and features in VR and get faster feedback for future car development.
The designers and engineers can also use VR to simulate various manufacturing processes and test vehicle performance in a safe and controlled environment, ensuring customers get superior products at the end of the pipeline.
Invest in an Automotive Immersive Experience
Immersion and immersive experiences through VR are already powering the design, manufacturing, and marketing processes of big automakers globally. Immersive customer experiences will make consumers more confident in their vehicle purchases and boost their engagement and emotional connection to automotive brands and their vehicles.
Talk to an expert today and start your immersive automotive journey.