According to a HomeNet Automotive research study, 83 percent of dealers believe they can increase turns if they improve online merchandising, but only 10 percent thought their online presence was highly differentiated.
In response, the newest inventory merchandising tool from HomeNet is designed to respond to how much dealerships — and their potential customers — spend on their mobile devices.
The company highlighted four major components of SnapLot 360, a 360-degree capture solution that is geared to drive increased visibility to dealers’ online sales platforms through an iOS and Android compatible application.
HomeNet explained SnapLot 360 technology can provide dealers the ability to manage the following through the app:
—Exterior 360 Capture: Walk around the vehicle and capture a high-resolution exterior 360 degrees photo in seconds using image stabilization to drive efficiency and optimal viewing by vehicle shoppers.
—Interior 360 Capture: Leverage SnapLot 360 to capture a compelling interior 360 degree panoramic to fully immerse car shoppers in the experience.
—Hot Spot Tagging: Tag specific features as hot spots that will call out to online car shoppers, driving engagement and a deeper understanding about the vehicle.
—360 Syndication: Syndicate interior and exterior 360 degrees photos to the top website and listings providers in the industry, including Dealer.com and Autotrader.
“SnapLot 360 is an evolution of the digital showroom, delivering a three-dimensional view of a vehicle's interior and exterior that separates dealers from the competition, while empowering customers to explore dealership inventory from any device,” said John Hensman, vice president and general manager of HomeNet Automotive.
“A more immersive experience than traditional video, SnapLot 360 provides a higher level of engagement and transparency that customers need to make more informed — and faster — buying decisions,” Hensman continued
“This new technology furthers our proven philosophy that transparency builds trust, which results in more sales for dealers,” he went on to say.
HomeNet emphasized that vehicle merchandising that included photos and videos were the first stops in differentiating dealerships online. As the industry has evolved, the company pointed out technology advanced, and shoppers continue to become savvier as customers demand a more dynamic online shopping experience.
Market research indicated that a personalized online shopping experience can help dealerships drive sales and increase margin.
Hensman noted that the previously mentioned HomeNet research study insights are supported by a Cox Automotive report, “Working Deals in a Digital World,” which identifies “dealers who infuse a customer-centric approach to their sales process, allows them to protect margins, improve workflow and increase customer satisfaction.”
Hensman said, “Customers have become more educated; they know their options and how to find the inventory they're interested in. We also know that they seek out a heightened online user experience that's personalized and easy to engage with.
“With SnapLot 360, dealers can serve their customer dynamic content with ease,” he went on to say.
HomeNet launched a pilot program with customers to test the SnapLot 360 technology, and the company said the initial results have exceeded expectations.
“We’re a dealership group that wants to stay ahead of the curve and SnapLot 360 helped us differentiate ourselves online from the start,” said David Simches, used car group director for the Crown Auto Group. “It’s easy to use and adds a lot of value to our online listings.
“If you have a product that improves the customer experience while making you more efficient, it’s a win/win for the dealership,” Simches continued. “The bottom line is we're selling more cars since we've started using SnapLot 360,”
To see SnapLot 360 in action, dealers can go to this website.