Buying a car: 360-degree expert weighs in on the evolution of car retail in SA

By Pritesh Ruthun Time of article published Mar 29, 2021

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JOHANNESBURG: Even before the pandemic hit, South African car dealers had noticed a shift toward digital retailing. Particularly when it comes to showcasing vehicles and attracting leads, the internet has become the first point of reference for consumers, using search engines to pinpoint the vehicle they’re looking for.

Nic Carr, one of the founders of InstaVid360, spoke to us about how he’s assisting dealerships in South Africa and across the world in embracing digital retailing, through the implementation of software that gives you a 360-degree view of a vehicle, inside and out.

ADDING GREATER TRANSPARENCY

More than a decade ago, Carr and his associates began work on delivering retail and data solutions to the automotive sector. He saw a gap in the market when it came to how dealerships showcased their vehicles. Instead of pictures and the odd video, Carr wanted to enable dealers to record 360-degree spins in a streamlined manner that would be easily available for use on whatever retail platform the dealer preferred.

“We are able to provide an app-based solution that allows anyone at a dealership to film high-quality videos with stabilisation. We see this as a key USP when it comes to dealers being able to showcase their products in an engaging and interactive way,” Carr says.

“We have noted that consumers are shopping more online for vehicles, and our solution is able to provide these consumers with access to more information as well as give dealers the opportunity to use an easy solution to capture their inventory.”

InstaVid360 will be working with AutoTrader in the coming months as well as several large dealer groups and OEMs.

The company’s 360-degree video solution will allow you to look around a vehicle you’re interested in before you even make contact with a dealership with questions. The same video solution can be used, but you’ll need a 360-degree camera, to capture the interior of vehicle.

InstaVid360 can plug into most existing dealership IT infrastructures.

Carr said a dealership would need to factor in some investment in order to implement the app to capture its fleet of cars.

MORE THAN VIDEO

Added to the video capture capability the app offers, Carr’s business is able to implement bespoke CRM solutions for dealers that do not have integrated systems in place to list their cars on their websites.

“Our video capture solution is only part of what we’re doing to make it easier for business to sell cars while at the same time making it easier for consumers to make confident choices about vehicles they want to buy,” he says.

Carr is in talks with OEMs to provide online retail solutions that incorporate video as dealerships take a back seat to digital marketplaces.

“We’re not saying that traditional dealerships are going away any time soon, but we are seeing more and more manufacturers readying their online retail capabilities.

“Very soon, you will be able to take virtual test drives online, engage with sales people digitally, and conduct entire purchase process online, having the vehicle delivered to you at your convenience. We are already working with Polestar in some markets to grow the brand’s online retail presence.”

For more information on InstaVid360 you can visit the company’s website.

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