The value of interactive 360-degree tours on your dealer website

Dave Grenley
I would really like to get some feedback from the dealer community. If you provide 360-degree interior and exterior views for your online customers, have you found that they have been beneficial? Are they a valuable part of the online purchasing process for your customers? Has this capability improved any of your online measurables (time on site, interactivity level, retention, conversion rates)?
Russ Chandler
I've tossed around the idea quite a few times. I really like the features that will engage a customer and set us apart from the competition. So far I have stayed without for a few reasons. First it seems that when I visit a site with them they usually will require that I install something or ask for permission to use them. So if you do decide to go with them make sure you do not have it auto-run on your vehicle pages. Make a button that opens another window or something that doesn't shutter their experience. Second, the fact that the 360 tours aren't specific to your vehicle. So if you carry new or very close to new vehicles this wouldn't make as much difference but if you carry a high percentage of vehicles that aren't under a year or two old its not a very accurate representation. It might seem to still be acceptable but I have chose to take those same cost's and efforts and redirect them into actual video of your vehicle. This allows you to still engage the customer but more specific to YOUR vehicle and not just a generic version of your model. Merchandising online is all about standing out and making an impression on your customer. Something about a generic version of my vehicle just doesn't put that message out there. It might seem like a big task but you would be surprised what you can do with some free resources out there. All my tracking has made video, by far, the most engaging feature you can get in front of a customer. On the flip side I do like the 360 tours for your dealership spaces. Awesome social material and is definitely engaging. This would be more inviting and informing once they have already made the decision to come in. I know I've already said it but when your trying to merchandise your inventory its all about sticking out and being memorable. 360 tours of a generic vehicle doesn't say a thing about your dealership or whats better about your vehicle then your competition. This is just my own thought process over the same question. May not be correct but has kept me from trying them out thus far. If you do check them out make sure you have a baseline of data to compare to once you have them installed. If you decide to look into real video of the vehicle and need some info on what how to get that ball rolling feel free to contact me. Thank you, -- Russ Chandler

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