According to an article in Forbes, the number of virtual showrooms is increasing, especially for leading automakers. That’s not hard to understand why, since successful automakers will understandably want to gain an edge in differentiating themselves to customers. One comment really caught our attention.
“Automakers must realize if they poke the bear they had better be ready to run quickly – meaning that if a car company offers an online experience then it must be an online experience that is updated constantly to match what is being offered and what the consumer expects.”
Here, at Dassault Systèmes, we believe that automakers should incorporate virtual reality into their entire development process, from simulating designs and safety elements, to manufacturing simulation and then all the way through to the consumer experience including customizing their vehicles online and experience cars virtually and realistically in the showroom. As a matter of fact, we’ve already developed this concept and implemented virtual showrooms. We debuted our prototypes at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show in Paris last year. The experience was tailored using “Virtual Garage”, based on our 3DEXPERIENCE Platform.
The Forbes article also highlights that the conversion of customers into actual buyers online for automakers continues to be quite low. The article speculates that using virtual reality and augmented reality in the presentation of the car – allowing consumers to really experience the car – may help boost sales. In the Experience Economy, it’s not the product itself consumers seek – it’s whether or not the product meets and exceeds the experience customers are looking for. Incorporating AI and VR to enhance the product buying experience will help drive automakers’ success in differentiating themselves from competition, disrupting the market and positioning themselves for growth.