Virtual reality is one of the most exciting new technologies at the moment and is generating great levels of engagement with users – something brands are starting to pick up on and use to their advantage. The most recent addition to the VR bandwagon is Land Rover.
Using the latest digital technology and animations, customers can experience the new Land Rover Discovery virtually. This provides prospective buyers with an understanding of the relative size of the vehicle, a chance to explore the vehicle interior in 360 degrees from different viewpoints, and the opportunity to go ‘under the hood’ and learn about the technical features of the vehicle, all before it has even arrived in the country!
New Zealand’s General Manager of Jaguar Land Rover, Steve Kenchington, says this new technology is particularly beneficial for those who are new to the brand, as previously they would have waited until a demonstrator model was available before making a purchase. Premium vehicles like this are high involvement purchases which can take buyers weeks or months to decide on – especially as, historically, there has been the reluctance to buy a vehicle off the brochure without a showroom model to examine.
Virtual reality is helping to combat this reluctance. Experiencing the model in virtual reality helps to inform the customer sufficiently so that they are able to make a decision without viewing the actual car in real life.
“For our dealer network, this technology is helping to transform the way we sell cars – it helps us overcome the geographic barrier which prevents us from bringing in new models as quickly as other markets which are closer to the point of manufacture,” says Kenchington.
This technology has already proven to be a valuable tool for Land Rover New Zealand, as the first two shipments of the new Land Rover Discovery model have been sold before reaching our shores. The VR experience was implemented in conjunction with the new vehicle launch, and pre-sales for the new model opened around eight months before the first shipment was due to arrive. This generates fresh competition around vehicle purchasing which could be interesting to watch!
In addition to New Zealand, Jaguar Land Rover will roll out the VR Experience across more than 1,500 retailers in 85 markets, localised into 20 languages, but they aren’t the first carmakers to try VR! Volvo has experimented with using VR at their dealerships and Cadillac considered something similar, and Ford, who use VR for development purposes, launched a VR app last year as a promotional tool.
It’s always exciting to see where virtual reality extends to, and consider which industry it might pop up in next!