To take. Click on. To verify. Check. A four-step car-buying process we’d all embrace in 2022, auto experts predict. With the advent of high-end virtual reality (VR) headsets customized for a 360-degree product experience, buying a virtual car could be a piece of cake. “In 2021, our virtual turnover was 33%. Although some customers asked for a test drive a day before buying the car, a handful finalized everything based on the virtual showroom experience,” says Vaibhav Sharma, Managing Director of the sales company. of virtual cars from pre-owner CarzSo, based in Gurgaon.
Of the 30,000 used car dealerships in India, about 4,000 have popular online car portals, according to Bengaluru-based market research firm RedSeer. Google India’s “Auto Gear Shift India 2020 Report” noted that nine out of 10 new car buyers performed at least one video-triggered follow-up action. The used-car startup says its new in-house proprietary software is targeting rural and Tier 3 city customers.
“They don’t want to bother going to a town a few hundred miles away to pre-select their dream car. We encourage them to connect to the metaverse on our website. Alternatively, we send a set of Oculus VR headsets to their doorstep so they can check the vehicles,” says Sharma. What is the quality or reality of the experience? “As good as sitting inside the car,” he says. Customers feel the vehicle from the dashboard to the seats without physically touching it. What about old-school customers who want to hear the sound of the engine on start-up? “Cars go through a 222-point checklist before they go on sale. There’s no way such fundamental issues will arise,” he adds. Some car enthusiasts are investing in VR headsets ( from INR 35,000 online) to virtually check out new cars.
The automotive sector experienced a slump at the start of 2020. The lockdown added to its woes. “We were forced to find new ways to support business. In 2020, we created our software. But sitting in Gurgaon, we can deal with clients from Panchkula in Haryana to Ambala in Punjab,” he reveals.
CarzSo does not expect customers to purchase a car without a final physical test or driving demonstration. What they do is only try to reduce tedious and time-consuming processes, at least in the preliminary stages. Buying cars in India could become as easy as buying things from Amazon.
Once a customer logs in to the website, the list of cars is displayed on the homepage with price details and other things.
How it works
- Then we click on the headset icon on the page and the 360 degree zoom function is activated. The user can negotiate the path by clicking on sections such as exteriors, interiors, front and back.
- The experience is a bit like a video game with a car simulation. One can click on the four arrows to go further and check the legroom or the ceiling of the car.
- The customer also has the choice of an advanced virtual experience with a VR headset.
- The final road test is facilitated if the customer insists on it.