Technological advances have snowballed over recent years. Listed below are a few interesting concepts and products that we think could shape the landscape of digital marketing for auto businesses in the coming five years.
‘Click to Buy’ website features
Earlier this week Hyundai launched their new Click to Buy website function, allowing customers to go from selecting their vehicle to payment and delivery options in “under five minutes”.
Bringing the process of car buying to the modern day, (much like an Amazon shopping experience), this is a speedy and convenient method which cuts out the often negatively viewed ‘haggling’ process.
Other sites such as CarWow are also offering competitive online shopping platforms, proclaiming that ‘the price you see is the price you’ll pay’.
Will buy online become common place for UK car dealers?
A critical view of this function could consider it as extreme impulse buying - an exciting treat one minute and a dent in your wallet in the next, the struggle between logic and desire.
However we think that it is also the next logical step on from the deposit functionality that we currently have in place on many of our client’s websites.
For this to take off we believe it will not only need a shift in the market’s mindset but you must capture customers attention quickly, apply simple website functions and navigation for immediacy and keep them hooked with a fast yet secure checkout process - negating all of the fiddly data input.
‘Connected Cars’ and extreme new car personalisation
As we know, manufacturers are moving towards more custom approaches to their cars - but personalisation doesn’t just refer to changing the colour of your car’s exterior or choosing the furnishings inside.
The role of the connected car is to provide smart, responsive alerts for the driver via wifi access. This means that the in-car assistant will be optimised to provide real-time solutions based on the driver’s past behaviour and preference settings, to stop frustrations such as getting lost, getting delayed in traffic or wasting time whilst searching for available parking.
With the most recent developments in AI technology this is all within grasp and can be harnessed to meet the needs of drivers; remembering things such as their favoured driving routes and spending habits, creating a more personalised driving experience.
Volvo are already aiming to give each customer a personal ‘service technician’, much like an Apple ‘Genius’, to make all of this possible. Training will be provided on a global scale to ensure that this becomes a standard part of the customer relationship by 2017. In their words, Volvo customers are not purchasing a material object, but a ‘relationship’ with the brand.
This also opens the door for a handful of add-on opportunities to up-sell during a transaction.
How could car personalisation become useful for businesses?
With apps such as CarPlay already here, marketers could easily harness this technology to display promotions - information such as approved restaurants, hotels and finding the cheapest petrol station near you are already functions in similar automotive apps.
If you have a car accident, roadside recovery could be called automatically. Your spouse could be alerted if you’ll be late home for dinner when you get stuck in traffic. When you need a break in your journey, appropriate rest stops will be flagged by working from your past behaviour and preferences. Students could view alerts for discount deals and sales for nearby shopping facilities.
Head-up display (or HUD) technology isn’t technically anything new - in fact, it already exists on a small scale and Samsung’s Smart Windshield concept for motor scooters could very soon be in production.
These concepts generally rely on the connection of the rider or driver’s smartphone to project information either through a transparent screen on the dash, or up onto the front windscreen.
A demonstration video released by Samsung shows how this information could be useful for millennials and younger drivers as it provides notifications about incoming phone calls, emails, texts and social media alerts, with the ability to send automated responses.
Tech doesn’t always have to be an unnecessary distraction, however, it can be a part of a time-saving solution. This offers new potential for those behind the wheel to stay connected whilst keeping their eyes and hands where they should be is so useful should they require directions or ‘nearby place’ information.
The fact that the legibility of these displays is so bold and clear leaves little comparison to smaller, often convoluted screens of current satellite navigation devices and even mobile phones suction mounted onto your dash or windscreen.
How could smart windshields become useful for automotive digital marketers?
Tech and glass manufacturing companies are already chalking up the revenue opportunities that this type of technology could bring to businesses. With protocols such as iBeacon (location-based technology used by businesses and vendors), the potential for advertisements could also find a place within these displays. As technology develops, vehicles will be as much a connected place as when you’re sitting on your sofa at home.
Transforming a windshield into a billboard is not far away - in fact it’s already here in some models of BMW, Toyota and Hyundai, already offering basic functions such as speed.
Corning’s acquisition of the glass created by Apple for iPhone screens, ‘Gorilla Glass’ is making advances in producing crisp, vivid projections onto car windscreens, with their console stretching across the entire width of the car!
Picture a driver, possibly new or unfamiliar to an area, driving within a certain set radius of your dealership. An enabled advert could pop up on the windscreen, inviting them to have a free drinks and a test drive of the latest vehicle in your range.
Couple these types of ad’s with in-car purchasing abilities and you could have a full blown shopping experience whilst behind the wheel!
Just think of the possibilities...