Why the future of car buying lies in interactive 3D configurators
Let's face it: Buying a car today looks nothing like it did 25 years ago. The internet has transformed this industry like it has countless others. Car buyers have more power than ever before — they can do all the research they need before stepping onto the showroom floor. They come prepared with smart questions and have a good sense of what they want to pay.
So how do you win when it's no longer a game of persuasive ground-floor salesmen and sparkling showroom windows? It becomes imperative that automotive manufacturers embrace the new rules and exceed buyers' expectations for engaging, interactive experiences early in the buyer's journey. One of the best ways to do that? 3D car configurator experiences, that not only leverage photorealistic vehicle models, but also immersive environments to picture one’s dream car in. Not only that, these interactive 3D car configurators come loaded with tons of options for customization at every detail.
Made possible with powerful game engines like Unreal and Unity, 3D car configurators put buyers in the driver's seat by letting them interact with the car from any angle, inside and out. Audi has led the way with fun, immersive 3D configurators that let users customize the colors, wheels, seats, and more as they build their dream cars. The game-like nature of such programs increases the buyer's excitement and engagement with the automotive producers that use them. Imagine popping open the hood of your dream car to hear the engine roar, or placing a digital replica of your golf clubs in the trunk and picture how they fit in the car as you cruise to your favorite course.
As the market demand for 3D car configurators ramps up, companies will need to rise to the challenge to offer more of these unique experiences. In fact, 95% of people in one survey said they preferred interactive 3D experiences over playback videos. These powerful configurators bridge the gap for those who want the convenience of online shopping but are hesitant to spend thousands on an item they can't see or touch in person.
Consumers aren't the only ones benefiting from this technology. There's plenty of good news for the companies that incorporate 3D configurators into their marketing. They can increase conversion rates and purchase value, raise the status of their brands, and reduce customer acquisition costs. Plus, the information gathered from buyers building their cars online tells dealers which models and features are the most popular so they know which vehicles to keep on their lots. This data can also be used by marketers and salespeople to provide a more personalized service to buyers.
Car companies interested in this technology will be glad to hear that two of the most popular and powerful gaming engines that make this tech possible have worked to make their platforms available on an enterprise level. Unreal Engine and Unity, the two giants in the world of game creation platforms that are used to build photorealistic 3D configurators, are more accessible to those without technical expertise.
The promise for all of this forward-looking technology is fantastic, but it won't mean anything unless buyers can easily access it. Consumers don't want to download and install applications when using these tools. And they certainly don't want to wait on technology that lags. Buyers expect a fluid experience, and that's where PureWeb comes in. It makes immersive, interactive web experiences like 3D car configurators accessible on any connected device via any modern web browser — no downloads required.
Figuring out how all this comes together isn't easy, but PureWeb can help. Check out our whitepaper that's packed with useful information.
Which brands are using 3D technology to great effect? What do you need to know about game engines Unity and Unreal Engine, which are making this 3D tech more accessible? What components should your automotive digital marketing campaign using 3D technology look like in order to be a success? And how can interactive 3D experiences be best deployed online through the latest advancements in real-time cloud streaming?
All of the questions you're sure to ask — and some you might not even think to ask — are answered in our comprehensive whitepaper "Game Engines in 3D Car Configurators".