The purpose of the car showroom is changing, driven by consumer habits and expectations. Customer interaction with brands mainly happens online these days. So by the time they visit a showroom, customers would have done 90% of their research. Increasingly, they would have selected the car they want, before arriving in the showroom.
This has led to fewer visits to car showrooms and consequently less interaction by dealers with customers. In fact, our research has found that the number of visits made to car showrooms has decreased by around 60% in recent years, to an average of 1.8 visits.
Car showrooms, therefore, are now less about showing cars and more about helping customers make their final decisions, through consultation and demonstration in a relaxing environment. First impressions are critical in the visits customers make. With only one or two opportunities to speak directly to the customer, visits must be memorable and provide a seamless brand experience.
Consumer behaviour may be shifting, but their senses remain fundamental. The car showroom needs to provide a fully immersive brand experience, consisting of visual, tactile, auditory and scent activations to improve the experience of the customer and increase the likelihood of a sale.