The pandemic has changed consumer attitudes in virtually every sector, and every consumer-facing business has had to respond.
The lockdown, and the restrictions that have remained in place after it, has prompted more people to spend on products or services that they can enjoy from the comfort of their own home.
And, taking this a step further, many are also spending money on indoor versions of the kind of experiences they’d normally enjoy on days out, known as ‘insperiences’. These range from virtual gym classes so people can maintain their fitness, to DIY meal kits that help people extend their culinary expertise.
These insperiences are proving popular with the public: research from Barclaycard has found that 63% of adults in the UK have either tried one, or are planning to do so in the future. Companies who have responded to this interest are gaining business at a time when they need all the help they can get: 88% of retailers have seen increased demand for these in-home experiences. And it’s now predicted that the value of the insperience market will reach £168 million over the next year.
Of course, making these insperiences happen is far easier for some activities and industries than others, and it may seem like car sales isn’t an obvious candidate for them. But by thinking a little bit outside the box in how dealerships like yours connect with potential buyers, there’s plenty that can be done to bring the car-buying experience people are looking for into their homes:
Customers still value the direct, face-to-face contact they have with a dealer, so they can get answers to the most important questions that are relevant to them. In the current climate, doing that in physical form at the dealership isn’t going to suit everybody, so taking these conversations into the virtual environment is ideal for maintaining this vital customer contact post-pandemic.
Even with social distancing aside, modern consumers now expect these self-serve, convenient, digital experiences in most of their interactions with retailers. While the pandemic may have accelerated demand, it’s expected that consumers will continue to expect these “insperiences” to be provided long after the pandemic is over.
Live Video, one of the latest features available to you as part of our Sales app, is the perfect tool to hold a two-way appointment, allowing customers to ask questions in real-time. What’s more, it’s integrated with your current video reporting – so you can view all your Sales video stats, both live and pre-recorded, in one place.
Virtual demonstrations won’t give customers the full try before they buy experience (this is still best left to a physical test drive), but live video demos can help to begin to build an emotional connection between buyer and car – hopefully leading to a physical test drive, and ultimately, a purchase.
Setting up a virtual demo not only gives the customer a transparent representation of how the car works in practice – including how it sounds, and how certain features work – it also gives them the opportunity to ask questions in real time as points of interest arise. But, if live video isn’t possible, then pre-recorded video can still be used to demonstrate the car’s features and bring the vehicle to the customer wherever they are.
Not only that, it could be the element that sets you apart from your competitors who are conversing on phone and email alone. Using all of the features available to you through CitNOW really can help make your ‘insperiences’ great experiences for your customers.
The potential of automotive insperiences can even stretch beyond the consumer and the buying process. With CitNOW, dealers can connect via video and conduct a thorough valuation of the car virtually – saving time for the customer, and the dealer alike.
Setting up a virtual appointment using CitNOW Live Video allows you to facilitate an accurate, remote valuation in real-time. During a live video session, the customer can capture a clear walkaround of their vehicle – allowing you to access the condition remotely and ask questions along the way.
We all know that how cars are bought and sold, and how dealerships operate, is fundamentally changing and will continue to do so in the months and years ahead. Making the most of the technology available, and creating these insperiences, is a vital part of how dealerships can reach more customers, connect with them better, and turn initial curiosity into firm sales.
CitNOW can help you create great ‘insperiences’ for your customers. Explore our How2CitNOW series for tips and tricks to help you improve your automotive video skills, and make sure to watch our latest video to find out more on bridging the digital to physical customer experience.