The prevalent influence of the internet has changed the way we behave, acting as the primary reference point for new information. As such, its influence on attitude formation is critical, allowing us to assimilate both first and third party messages to formulate an opinion. This directly impacts purchase behaviour, creating a need for brands to deliver highly influential propositions that engage and excite customers across all touch points.

The automotive industry is no stranger to such trends. 96% of car customers conduct research online when considering a purchase (JD Power), with 75% of the entire customer journey taking place on the internet, rising to 82% for millennials (Analogue Folk). The amount of time spent online means that the relative weight and effect of online touch points is far more critical than those experienced anywhere else. Competition for time online is therefore paramount. During the average 14 hours spent online, 80% of customers are influenced by third party reviews relating directly to value and quality (JD Power).

Why? - Where are the brands?
Of the current customer journey, 90% of customers use dealer or OEM websites (McKinsey), emphasising their importance, yet 56% agree that third-party sites are the most useful (AutoTrader). With an ever increasing percentage of sales taking place online, brands need to drive further value on their websites to occupy more of the online customer journey. Data relating to the growth of e-commerce suggests compound annual growth rates of between 9 and 18% for European markets between 2012 and 2017 (Smart Insights), with average annual growth of 9.32% per annum predicted in US markets from 2015-2020 (Internet Retailer). Within the car market, 75% of drivers have confirmed consideration in conducting the entire car buying process online (Accenture). As a result, 5% of all new car sales are expected to be completed online by 2020 (Forbes), with the value of the online market predicted to reach $4.5 billion by 2025 (Financial Times). The potential within this channel justifies investment.

How do you drive engagement?
Visualisation aspects online are a call back to the same static 2D scenarios as originally experienced in dealerships. The introduction of fully interactive, real-time 3D technologies in store have outperformed established 2D attempts at engaging the customer, increasing conversion rates. We are therefore in a position where the need for the same innovation offline is required online.

The processing power of a user's device (e.g. laptop, desktop, tablet, phone) is the primary limitation. When considered, it delivers an increasing number of variables that can impact the quality of such an experience.

At ZeroLight we've built proprietary technology on top of existing cloud infrastructure to deliver our disruptive real-time 3D visualisation solution to any connected device without the need for plug ins. All rendering is carried out independently from the customer's device and then streamed to them. The technology is highly responsive, delivering a multi-million polygon vehicle with extremely low latency. This allows our clients to deliver a consistent, high-quality proposition online, across all touch points, as many variables need to be mitigated as possible.

We have recently completed a POC with Audi AG, who now utilise our solution for their entire A4 range on their primary German website. After delivering analysis of our cloud technology in practice it was revealed that there was a 66% increase in user interaction, delivering substantial upsell opportunities alongside increased consumer satisfaction levels across the board.

Watch our presentation alongside Audi AG on revolutionary cloud technology

This report is an extract. Read:
Harnessing Cloud Technology to Drive Engagement Online