Automotive merchandising software company SpinCar has launched a new tool that it says could help dealers and OEMs increase gross margins by showcasing the key features and options included on their vehicles.
One dealer said the tool “...will enable us to develop even stronger emotional connections with consumers before they ever set foot in our physical showrooms.”
SpinCar explained the new tool — Feature Tour — replaces static vehicle detail page feature lists with customizable multimedia experiences based on a consumer’s self-identified interests.
Because the product highlights the most relevant features and options of a particular vehicle, dealers can help shoppers understand the inherent value of that vehicle, according to SpinCar. The company added that by using the tool, consumers can make more accurate product comparisons and can provide “tangible justification” for a dealer’s published price.
Feature Tour content is currently available for more than 450 features across 18 OEMs.
Why did SpinCar launch the tool? The company indicated that complex features and capabilities of today’s vehicles can be difficult to explain. Especially in a mobile-first world, long lists and descriptions included on traditional VDPs do not inform and educate online shoppers well, SpinCar added.
Because of that situation, many consumers must leave a dealer’s website to conduct additional research, and other consumers use price rather than features in their decision-making when comparing vehicles from different retailers. That has contributed to lower dealer gross margins, according to the company.
To address those challenges, Spin Car highlighted Feature Tour can bring curated videos, images and explainer content directly to consumers while they explore the vehicles on a dealer’s website.
By showcasing the unique features of a vehicle that are most relevant to each shopper, SpinCar’s proprietary multimedia personalization engine can educate consumers.
“While OEMs continue to enhance vehicles with a broad assortment of sophisticated, technology-enabled features, dealers are finding it harder and harder to communicate the value of these new capabilities to online car shoppers,” SpinCar co-founder and chief executive officer Devin Daly said in a news release.
“Feature Tour provides auto retailers with a fundamentally new way to tell the unique story of each vehicle in their inventory," Daly continued. "It’s yet another way that SpinCar is helping dealers harness the power of digital merchandising technology to deliver a better experience while maximizing the value of every shopper visit.”
Dealers can use SpinCar’s cloud-based software platform and database of OEM-endorsed content to automatically add a Feature Tour to any vehicle detail page. Then, online shoppers visiting those VDPs can access a guided, virtual walk-through of the vehicle’s key features and options.
Users can customize their Feature Tour based on self-identified areas of interest such as safety, performance, technology or convenience. Or, users can review all of a vehicle’s key features.
Feature Tour then can capture information regarding the shopper’s preferences and interests and suggests other vehicles with similar features. The system also can facilitate more personalized follow-up communication from the dealer.
“SpinCar’s digital merchandising platform has already made a measurable impact on our business by bringing shoppers to our website and keeping those shoppers engaged longer,” AutoTrust USA dealer principal Gary Pretzfeld said in a news release.
Shoppers who are more knowledgeable of the specifics of each vehicle will be able to make faster and more confident buying decisions, he added.