Even just a decade ago, perhaps the best way to find the right car for your needs was to simply visit your local car dealership. After all, that was just about the only way to view the dealer inventory, ask about pricing and financing, and most importantly, see the condition of the vehicles you’re interested in. But with the overwhelming industry shift to online sales, car dealers have had to find innovative new ways to attract, excite, and convert their online customers.
Here at CarData, Inc., we’re no stranger to the online automotive sales experience. Our extensive automotive photography and video services are a great way to spice up your dealer website with captivating content that helps you to make more sales and move more inventory off the lot. But we’re certainly not the only innovators in the game. Recently, Cox Automotive decided to invest $30 million into a new 3D imaging system that should offer dealers an incredible new way to connect with their customers online.
Cox Automotive Leads New $30 Million Investment Round in Fyusion to Accelerate Next-Generation 3D Imaging, Machine Learning
“Seeing is believing”
In response to the skyrocketing digital wholesale marketplace where seeing is believing, Cox Automotive is continuing its investment strategy. This latest investment is to accelerate the digital buying and selling experience, bringing it closer to a live interaction. With Fyusion, Manheim enables dealers to take advantage of 360-degree interactive viewing capability, which is integrated into the Manheim Express app. Fyusion and Manheim also are planning future innovations that will bring more artificial intelligence (AI) and improved objectivity to condition reports. Dealers and consignors will benefit from increased confidence in their ability to make informed decisions, buy and sell vehicles faster and maximize profits.
“Dealers tell us that high quality imaging is a key factor in continuing to drive digital adoption,” said Grace Huang, president of Manheim. “We are continuing to invest in delivering the industry’s best 3D imaging and merchandising experience, allowing sellers to better market their vehicles digitally and buyers to purchase with greater peace of mind.”
The timing of the investment is ideal as demand for the buying and selling of vehicles through digital channels continues to grow. In 2018, more than two million vehicles were sold to digital buyers in the Manheim Marketplace. Going forward, Manheim and Fyusion plan to develop innovative capabilities for inside- and outside-the-gate applications.
“Cox Automotive plays a critical role in making the car-buying process easier in the wholesale and retail marketplaces,” said Radu Rusu, CEO and co-founder of San Francisco-based Fyusion. “We look forward to continuing to work together as Manheim works to give dealers advanced imaging capabilities that help them take full advantage of digital channels to reach more buyers and close more sales.”
In just the last six months, embedding advanced 3D technology within the Manheim Express mobile app contributed to more than 10,000 dealer downloads. Dealers can create 360-degree images by simply walking around their vehicle and using smartphones to capture exterior and interior shots. These visuals, combined with geometric data about the vehicle, provide interactive 360-degree views in less than three minutes, helping buyers determine vehicle condition. Manheim Express is the only wholesale app that includes this level of 3D imaging.
In addition to 360-degree views, the technology also enables users to tag vehicle damage with moveable images that mimic typical in-person movements used by dealers to assess dent depth and other blemishes.
According to feedback, dealers believe 360-degree images are superior to static photos and recognize the value they add, especially when buying and selling in the wholesale marketplace.
Beyond Manheim, Fyusion is partnering with other Cox Automotive brands to differentiate the client experience in the digital marketplace.
Around 150 million people use Fyusion’s products globally. With a strong pedigree in 3D Computer Vision and Machine Learning, Fyusion’s San Francisco team is enabling businesses to thrive in industries undergoing major digital transformation.
Backed by prestigious Silicon Valley investors and powerful global businesses, Fyusion has previously raised $40mm to digitize the real world using 3D light fields and automatically extract valuable information from it, in an easy to use manner and accessible on any computing device.
A New Way To Buy and Sell Cars
While we aren’t quite at the point where online buyers can simply add a vehicle to their shopping cart and check out like they can with a small goods e-comm business, the technology that Cox Automotive and Fyusion, brings us much closer to being the new reality for car sales.
The last great barrier between dealers moving completely to online sales is largely recreating the experience of visiting the dealership and seeing the vehicle in-person. While online photos have certainly helped, these images are largely static and can be found across the internet, not just the dealer’s site. By having detailed, 360 degree, and interactive photos on your site, dealers can get closer than ever before to recreating the test drive experience online.
Start Offering Interactive Videos on Your Site Today
This investment is no doubt exciting, as it could offer an accessible way for dealers to add new interactive elements to their websites. But you don’t have to wait for this $30 million investment to come to fruition to start enjoying 360-degree videos. You can start to use technology not unlike this today! CarData, Inc. has been a leader in car deal video services for more than a decade.
Video Services from CarData, Inc.
There are few things more eye-catching on a website than a high-quality video. CarData helps you draw in new customers, bring back old ones, and keep them on your website longer with our high-quality car dealer videos. For each vehicle on your lot, we can create a one to two-minute-long video that features the complete interior and exterior. With an estimated 86% of all new car sales starting online, maximize your sales potential and invest in these videos.
Take Advantage of SpinCar 360°
Don’t you wish your customers could get behind the wheel of a brand new vehicle without having to leave the comfort of their own home? Now they can. CarData, Inc. is excited to offer our incredible SpinCar 360° videos. Using advanced software and video technologies, we can create a totally new way of exploring your vehicle inventory. Each 360° rendering can be manipulated by the customer, allowing them to inspect the condition of the interior and exterior. You can even place interactive buttons on the video that encourage the customer to click them and find out more about that particular model or feature.
Add Nuance to Your Listings With Clear Photos
Videos draw customers in, and photos are a great way to really sell them on a particular vehicle. The right photo can be as convincing, if not more so, than a special offer or a talented sales consultant. You can show images like pre- and post-detail work, and add brand and dealer information to the photo so your customers know exactly who to connect with to purchase the vehicle.
Attract New Customers with CarData, Inc.
Car manufacturers have long known that customers buy with their eyes. If you have the right designs and features, you can get a hesitant customer behind the right vehicle. Now dealers can appeal to their customers’ senses even more with our video and photography services. Connect with us today to find out more and to get started!