Mercedes embraces AR and VR as sales tools
New A-Class a digital tour de force in vehicle and in showroomsJoe Duarte
Published: April 27, 2018, 2:30 AM
Updated: May 2, 2018, 2:47 AM
With the expansion of its augmented reality use, Mercedes is taking steps to make sure buyers at the dealership never hear the phrase “we don’t have that model in stock, but this other one will give you a good idea of the colour and the over there has the equipment you’re looking for.”
The company recently introduced the media to its new A-Class, which is rich in the new display technology, and now it’s using augmented reality in the digital transformation of its sales force. The company is introducing a 3D augmented reality app for smartphones called Mercedes cAR, and equipping showrooms with data goggles for customers to see the cars they want, configured as they want.
With the mobile app, customers can configure their vehicle and then view it in detail in 3D in the setting they choose, such as their driveway or on their living room coffee table (not actual size!), as well as viewing the interior as if they were sitting at the wheel or lounging in the rear seat. They can also get a 360-degree view at the car, in effect getting a walkaround without leaving their homes, open the doors for a peek inside the vehicle, take a look at additional details in words, text and video, and also take it for a video-game like virtual test drive.
The Mercedes cAR app is immediately available in the German Apple App Store for iPhone and iPad downloads, and will be available for Android devices in coming months. Initially, only the A-Class will work with the app, but Mercedes will expand it to other new models as they come onstream.
At the dealership, customers can further enhance their car-buying involvement with the “InCar Virtual Reality Experience.” Once seated in the A-Class, customers put on virtual reality (VR) googles and can configure the interior to their choices, while getting the smell and touch senses from the actual interior. Users get all the choices of interior presentations, including 2-tone colours.
The sales tool will begin deploying with the A-Class in Germany before spreading out to other models and world markets.
“Digitalisation gives us fascinating new opportunities when addressing customers,” concludes Britta Seeger, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing & Sales. “Thanks to digital technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, our customers can quickly and easily explore the variety of our vehicles. In this way our point of sale becomes a point of experience, and we can offer a premium brand experience in a totally new dimension.”