The automobile industry is one of the largest industries in the world that is constantly evolving with the help of advances in technology and changes in customer preferences. A study indicates that India’s automotive market, valued at $100 billion in 2021, is expected to reach $160 billion by 2027. One of the main reasons for this growth is the introduction of virtual experiences in the automobile industry.
Digital experiences have taken over almost every aspect of the automobile industry, from manufacturing to driving sales. In fact, in 2019, the global VR market in the automotive industry accounted for $759.3 million and is predicted to grow to a whopping $14,727.9 million by 2027, with a CAGR of 45.1%. Many automobile manufacturers, such as Tesla, BMW, Tata Motors, Audi and more, now use immersive virtual experiences to provide their customers with a unique experience.
The Past: How Virtual Experiences Made an Impact on the Automobile Industry
Virtual platforms, especially virtual showrooms, have helped automobile companies worldwide to boost customer confidence in purchasing and reduce the return rate by 60-80%. Such experiences are becoming popular in the automobile industry because customers want personalized experiences, and companies want to differentiate themselves from competitors.
Here are six benefits of using virtual experiences in the automobile industry:
They Enhance Customer Experience
Digital experiences provide a highly engaging and interactive way for customers to explore vehicles. They enable them to customise and configure the car to their preferences, view 360-degree images and even take virtual test drives. One of the automobile companies that advertises its cars using virtual experiences is Tesla. The brand offers its customers virtual rides that not only feel real but also allow customers to interact with the vehicles, providing an immersive experience.
They Keenly Focus on Customer Convenience
Leveraging virtual experiences, companies can provide an unprecedented level of convenience for potential customers, allowing them to explore and experience vehicles without leaving their homes. This makes the virtual showroom more accessible for individuals around the world who may not have the time or ability to visit physical showrooms. Tata Motors has embraced this trend, being one of the companies making it possible for customers to reach them whenever and from wherever they want through their virtual showroom.
They Reduce Costs
A physical showroom needs real estate, followed by the need to hire salespersons and other physical requirements that add to the overall cost. By creating virtual experiences, automobile companies can save significant costs associated with physical showrooms and displays. Over time, these virtual showrooms would improve profitability and reduce overhead expenses. Such digital experiences also help in reducing the costs of research and development and manufacturing by allowing companies to digitise prototypes and car designs.
They Provide a Wider Reach
Virtual platforms can be used as a powerful advertising tool online, where potential customers can access the experience through social media platforms, websites and other online channels. By leveraging online advertising, automobile companies can target specific demographics and interests while broadening their reach and appeal to a wider audience.
They Enable Increased Data Collection
Digital experiences can also provide valuable analytics and insights into customer behaviour, preferences, latest trends and engagement. This data can help automobile companies improve their marketing strategies and target new markets more effectively. Furthermore, such experiences provide valuable opportunities for data collection and A/B testing that help automobile companies to improve their products.
They Accelerate Product Development
By going virtual, automobile companies can facilitate faster product development through rapid prototyping, collaborative design, digital simulation, real-time feedback and agile development. This can enable automobile companies to bring new vehicles to the market faster and more efficiently. For instance, Volkswagen uses virtual experience tools to develop virtual prototyping, resulting in reduced design and engineering costs.
Leveraging digital experiences can provide automobile companies with multiple opportunities to improve customer experience and enhance their marketing strategies. However, to get the most out of these opportunities, companies can leverage virtual experience tools, such as virtual showrooms, 3D product demos and 3D product configurators, either individually or in collaboration with each other.
The Present: How 3 Virtual Experience Tools Are Revolutionising the Automobile Industry Today
Various virtual tools have opened up new avenues for automobile companies. Companies can offer customers an immersive experience that allows them to explore vehicles, customise their features and even take virtual test drives, all from the comfort of their homes. This accessibility and convenience have proven to be significant factors in increasing customer engagement and driving online sales. Additionally, such digital experience tools provide valuable data on customer behaviour and preferences, allowing companies to tailor their marketing strategies and product offerings to better meet the needs and interests of their target audience.
Let’s explore these virtual tools in more detail.
Virtual showrooms for the automobile industry are digital environments that allow customers to explore and interact with vehicles in a virtual setting. These showrooms have features, such as hyper-realistic visuals, intuitive UI and UX, interactive products and more, to create immersive experiences that simulate the look and feel of a physical showroom. BMW uses immersive virtual showrooms to provide its customers with an interactive shopping experience, thus, increasing sales.
3D Product Demos
Three-dimensional product demos for the automobile industry are digital presentations that use 3D modelling and animation to showcase vehicles' features, capabilities and designs. These demos provide a detailed and interactive view of the vehicle, allowing customers to explore and interact with different features. Volvo is one of the many automobile companies that use the 3D product explorer to showcase their cars' full potential and features. Customers can interact with the vehicles, understand the features in-depth and make a well-informed purchase decision.
3D Product Configurators
Three-dimensional product configurators for the automobile industry are digital tools that allow customers to customise and configure the features of a vehicle, such as exterior and interior colours, wheels, accessories and technology options, in a virtual environment. These configurators offer customers a personalised and interactive experience, allowing them to explore and visualise different options before making a purchase decision. Audi is an automobile company with a 3D configurator tool on its website that allows customers to create a detailed view of their preferred Audi model. The tool enables customers to customise and configure various features of the vehicle.
These tools have proven to be beneficial in the decision-making process of purchasing a car. As technology continues to intrude deep into the roots of the automobile industry, customers are provided with more access to data and information that will help them make purchasing decisions.
The Future: How Virtual Experiences Will Shape the Automobile Industry
The role of virtual experiences in the automobile industry will be critical in the future as it will help enhance customer engagement, reduce costs, collect valuable data, accelerate product development and expand accessibility. As digital technologies continue to evolve, it is expected that virtual tools, such as virtual showrooms, 3D product demos and 3D product configurators, will become an increasingly important part of the automobile industry's marketing and sales strategies.
The future of the automobile industry is expected to be heavily influenced by digital technologies and experiences. As the world becomes increasingly connected, there is a growing demand for personalised and immersive digital experiences, and automobile companies must embrace virtual tools to stay ahead of the competition. Exhibit 360 offers a range of interactive and immersive digital experiences that can help businesses grow. Contact us to build a stronger connection with your customers.