Augmented Reality and 3D technology - The future of automotive retail

Consumers today are highly time-constrained and looking for an easy way to shop for cars. The process of buying a car has traditionally been a tedious one, with extensive face-to-face interaction and research, multiple test drives, and haggling over prices.

Modern consumers are looking for a quick and simple process, which is why they flock to the Internet to make their purchases.

According to Cox Automotive's Digitization of End-to-End Retail study, "…64% of shoppers are willing to make a purchase online the next time they buy a vehicle."

Buying a vehicle via the Internet might be the way of the future. Today, 92% of automobile purchasers do their research online before purchasing, and virtual and augmented reality technologies, as well as 3D technology are crucial in making the process more accessible and immersive.

Immersive Technology and Car Showrooms

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, most people looking to buy a new automobile would have gone online to look for options before visiting a physical showroom. This process, however, was an incredibly tedious one and did not offer a user-friendly experience.

Today, Immersive technologies like 3D, augmented reality and virtual reality; can bring the same, life-like immersive view of the product right to your customers' doorsteps.

Augmented and virtual reality will take automotive shopping to the next level by giving buyers new opportunities to experience cars in virtual showrooms.

Industry Trends

For decades, the customer journey in the auto industry has remained essentially unaltered. However, with web 3.0, the immersive tech is set to transform the industry's ways of marketing and selling by building virtual showrooms using 3D tech and augmented reality; with the following advantages:

  • A 24/7 state-of-the-art virtual showroom, that prospective buyers can visit anytime, and from anywhere.
  • Ability to showcase the entire range of vehicles along with all variants, colors, features and components, virtually to everyone around the world.
  • Up to 8-9x better customer engagement and 5-6x higher sales, as 3D and AR tech significantly enhances decision making, leading to increased and faster conversions.

Impact Of AR In Automobile Industry

Broadening reach

AR has the potential to broaden the consumer reach, as it brings the product experience to the smart phones and lets prospective buyers experience and engage with their choice of products, with just a simple click. It does not need expensive gear and auto brands can easily showcase their products to every individual with a smartphone, in an immersive manner.

This presents an attractive business opportunity for auto manufacturers, as it allows better customer engagement and conversion.

Supporting online purchasing

According to the Deloitte Disruption in the Automotive Industry: How Digital is Changing Car Sales study, 84% of prospective buyers research automobiles on their phones. Most auto buyers would like to have an all-online experience.

Augmented reality can assist online customers in their purchasing decisions by bringing vehicles to life and taking digital imagery to the next level with photo-realistic, life-sized 3D structures that can be placed in the real world. A customer can augment any product to check-out its features and details, and experience it numerous times without feeling pressured to buy.

Furthermore, AR doesn't simply provide spectacular visual images; it can also incorporate comprehensive information such as detailed specifications and features allowing consumers to make a well-informed decision, without visiting a physical showroom.

Transforming in-showroom experiences

While many people prefer shopping online, immersive technology can also impact real- world showrooms. With changing consumer behavior and demographics and a drop in automobile sales, it's more important than ever to engage the prospective buyers at every point of the buyer’s journey.

While some automakers have chosen virtual reality-based in-store experiences, augmented reality has a huge role to play in transforming conventional showrooms.

The requirement for large vehicle showrooms and inventory has considerably reduced with the mix of physical and virtual. The dealerships are able to showcase the entire range of products, in all available colors and variants in a smaller space, using 3D and Augmented Reality. Resulting in cost saving and better customer experience.

AR implementation problems and how Metadome is addressing them?

  1. Compatibility -The AR platforms globally aren't compatible with all smartphones (high- end or low-end), and are mostly app based. These apps are large in size, and users often feel reluctant to download them, making the model non-scalable. Metadome's AR platform supports all smartphones, across all platforms, and is compatible for both web & app.
  2. Compression with rendering quality -The 3D models of the cars are heavy and take a long time to load, making the experience sluggish. When they are compressed, the rendering quality suffers significantly. Metadome's proprietary technology stack enables compression for all file sizes with high rendering quality.
  3. Cross platform -Most AR platforms are not cross platform and either support iOS or Android. Metadome's solution is compatible with all platforms, including iOS, Android, and Windows.

Conclusion

Technology has transformed the world in ways that were unimaginable a few decades ago, and the automotive industry is no exception. Through applications, consumers can now experience vehicles in virtual and augmented reality on their preferred device.

For dealerships interested in offering augmented reality in-store experiences, Metadome.ai can help you enter this new world. Vehicle dealers can build captivating augmented reality experiences and engage with today's contemporary auto customers through augmented reality and 3D technology.

Metadome is a visual computing platform built to serve brands/enterprises to create immersive product experiences for their customers. Adloid has built its own web 3D rendering & web AR platform that solves for the complete workflow, tackling the problems of scale, rendering quality, and compatibility(web/app), and takes care of the entire flow of content creation, design, rendering and core tech, deployment, and maintenance.