The latest statistics suggest automotive retail took a big hit in 2020. Year on year, overall sales in the US are down by 38%*. But, in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, what would usually be seen as a serious problem is being summed up as “it could have been worse”. However, more than ever, there is significant pressure on the industry to change and evolve towards having a more accessible, transparent, experiential and customer-based focus.
As we look at how 360-degree spin displays can boost your website performance and conversions, we’ll also take a look at why they could and should be one of the stepping-stones to selling vehicles online.
With that in mind, standing out from the crowd is an absolute must. Whereas offering the best price to quality ratio used to be the trump card all dealers aimed for, now, it doesn’t cut it. How users experience your entire offering, including your website and the products on it, is vital.
Despite the hit automotive and many other industries have taken in the wake of the pandemic, it’s important to remember that the new technologies and approach we’re being funnelled towards, both present a huge opportunity.
In 2020, 4.2%* of the vehicles sold in the US were bought online. Based on official figures, that’s 630,000 new, 142,800 used vehicles, and a significant piece of a pie estimated to be worth over $200 billion. As a dealer or retailer, whether or not you want a piece of this particular pie is a question that shouldn’t give you too much of a headache.
And vehicle sales are just one aspect to consider. In 2019, the aftersales ecommerce market in the US was estimated to be $38.2 billion. By 2030, it is expected to grow to a value of $292.6 billion. In short, every part of your operation can be sold online, is already being sold online, and will grow significantly over the next few years.
Now, you may be wondering why this applies to how 360-degree spin displays can boost your website performance and conversions. The answer is simple – performing well online is all about how things look and make your potential customers feel.
Changing the Experience
The online customer experience is pretty much all about imagery. This is a potential barrier, as the vast majority of people rely on sensory input to make a purchase – whether it’s a burger or a BMW. The challenge is therefore how to replace the offline sensory experience with one that is almost entirely visual – but still makes your potential customers feel warm and fuzzy about your products.
Dynamic imagery is undoubtedly a vital aspect of delivering on this. By now, you’ve probably heard the term ‘omnichannel’. It’s certainly an industry buzzword at the moment. But, put simply, all it means is that every channel you use can and should contribute to increasing your revenue.
Traditionally, closing the sale has been the focus of the majority of dealers. Sealing the deal has always been more important than how it was achieved. But, as many industry disruptors are more than willing to prove, the path to purchase is just as important, if not more important. Every interaction your prospects and customers make across your website impacts whether they will engage further or take the next step. How your website performs on mobile, how relevant your emails are, as well as your Instagram stories, push notifications, and other interactions, all contribute. These micro-moments don’t just make up part of the path to purchase, they ARE the path to purchase.
In short, this is omnichannel marketing, and it’s a difficult game to play. But the dealers who play it well now will undoubtedly rise to become the real ecommerce winners.
It’s obvious that customers do not, and cannot have, the same experience shopping online as they do when they walk into your showroom. How you use imagery is therefore key to making your online prospects feel comfortable with your brand. 67% of consumers said that quality imagery was “very important” when it comes to selecting and purchasing purchases.
In fact, these same consumers indicated that the right imagery and image quality was more important to them than product-specific information (63%), long descriptions (54%), and even ratings and reviews (53%). As a result, it’s not a huge leap to suggest that high quality, dynamic imagery will increase the profitability of an online business by a significant amount.
It used to be that creating dynamic, interactive, engaging imagery was the reserve of specialists and expensive professional photographers. This alone has been a significant barrier for dealers who wanted to evolve their offering, but couldn’t risk such considerable outlay. But now, you carry all the equipment and technology you’ll need around in your pockets – your smartphone. And SnapCell provides the software.
Snap360 is designed to help you make the most of your vehicle pages. It enables you to deliver the ultimate digital retailing experience to your customers. The answer to the riddle of how 360-degree spin displays can boost your website performance and conversions is Snap360. It is our dedicated, automotive photography, 360-degree spin display platform.
Spin displays provide the perfect online alternative – or perhaps even the only alternative, to being up close and personal, and inside an actual showroom car. Positioned prominently on a landing page, they can deliver the ultimate vehicle digital retailing experience for website visitors. 80%* of car buyers browsing online felt that dealers showcasing 360-degree spin displays on their websites were of good repute.
Intuitive controls are at the heart of every SnapCell offering, and Snap360 is no different. Your customers will be able to zoom in and pan on the image via their iPhone or Android device. The simple pinch and swipe motions we’ve all become familiar with make up the natural controls at the core of the software.
The Deal is in the Detail
That means that whatever your customer wants to see in detail – from the wheels to the engine bay – it’s at their fingertips. And of course, it doesn’t stop there, as they can also get inside the vehicle. They can cozy up behind the wheel and really get a feel of what the vehicle is like – inside and out. They can take the time to examine every detail, leaving no feature forgotten. Snap360 makes this all possible. And the great news is that you can create a 360-degree video in just seven minutes and with limited space (between 6-9 feet).
The result is an experience that empowers your website visitors to view any part of the vehicle from any angle. This is a huge factor in creating desire for the product, which ultimately leads to a buying decision – aka conversion!
Build More into Every Image
Snap360 enables you to add highlights to your images. And all of your images created in Snap360 can easily be added to your social channels via smart integrations. You’ll also benefit from advanced reporting – meaning you’ll be able to tell exactly where all the new leads you’ve generated have come from!
When it comes to how 360-degree spin displays can boost your website performance and conversion, the stats speak for themselves.
- 73%† of customers who browsed and then bought (or leased) a vehicle online, thought that offering 360-degree spin displays was “extremely” or “very” helpful
- 95%† of customers use search, with 61% of these using video or interactive content to inform their buying decision
- 85% of these said it was a factor that made them more likely to purchase
- 64%‡ of buyers would like extensive vehicle photos and dynamic imagery as well as effective search tools
Snap360 is also compatible with a wide range of 360-degree cameras. Our recommendation is the Ricoh Theta Camera SC, with full Bluetooth compatibility, for best results.
You can experience a full Snap360 demo here.
Successful retailers understand that viewing and orchestrating the customer experience across all channels is now the marketing norm. Snap360 enables you to modernize your customers’ online buying experience by taking not just your showroom – but your entire range of vehicles – to them. It enables your customers to explore each of those vehicles at their own pace, from the comfort of their own home and the safety of our integrated platform.
We’ve also made it as easy for them to navigate as it is easy for you to use and integrate into your marketing mix. If you’d like to know more about how Snap360 or other SnapCell products can enhance your online offering and increase performance and conversions, get in touch with a member of the team today.
*Statista, February 2021
† Homenet Consumer Study, 2019
‡ McKinsey & Co, 2019