We live in an era where technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate. New developments are changing our lifestyles entirely, and this includes the car-buying experience. Think about it—every time you want to buy something, you probably look for it on the internet first. According to Autotrader, this applies to cars too! Fifty-nine percent of car buyers do at least some online research before going to a dealership.
The Importance of Digital Content
The “Ropo Phenomenon” stands for “research online, purchase offline,” and it has become the new way to buy. The beauty of this phenomenon is that you are more informed than ever when you arrive at the dealership.
Nowadays, online resources allow you to filter between used and new, year, model, and you can even set up a range for your budget, making things more accessible than ever. Therefore, you can have everything decided, from the car of your dreams to the custom wheels manufacturer, even before you get to the dealership.
But why do people still go to the dealership? Well, many would argue that there’s nothing like taking that test drive. So far, nothing can replace the feel of riding a car, and it would be unthinkable to purchase one without test driving it first. Or is it?
Say Yes to Virtual Reality
Virtual reality (VR) can play a significant role here since it allows you to get a very accurate experience regarding how it will feel to drive the car. Furthermore, virtual tests have become so useful that, according to a Google Study, over 50 percent of car buyers have stated they would be willing to buy a car after a satisfactory test drive.
It might seem surprising, but VR technology has dramatically advanced in the past few years. It has been discussed that these virtual test drives can boost upsell potential. This might be why numerous dealerships integrate this as part of their showrooms, allowing potential buyers to experience what it will be like driving that car.
Mobile Phones and Social Media Are Key
Who doesn’t use a phone to find information? When you want to buy something or an idea pops into your head, you probably take out your mobile and do some research. Maybe the idea of buying a new car came to you by scrolling on your phone and seeing vehicles on social media.
And these platforms can play a determinant role in your search. Demonstration videos on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram can help you get an idea about specific features of the vehicle you are considering purchasing. And the automotive industry knows this, and that is why brands such as Lexus have made substantial investments in social media advertising.
Another benefit of being able to do mobile research is that you can compare prices even while you are at the dealership! This way, you can guarantee you are getting the best possible price, and everything is just a couple of clicks away. Gone are the days in which you would have to go from one dealership to another to make these comparisons.
As the world advances and changes, everything changes with it. Are you ready to embrace technology in your next car purchase?
Nathan Barnes is a managing editor at BlaqueDiamond. He became a car enthusiast at the age of four when his father taught him the difference between Chevy and Ford. In 2012 Nathan put his knowledge in practice and started reporting on cars, races, and the auto industry on different social media platforms. Currently, he’s a happy owner of a 1967 Alfa Romeo and a Lancer GSR and a person who still has lots of topics to cover.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.