Fiat Live Store: Virtual Car Dealership
Italian auto manufacturer Fiat is reaching out to Brazilian motorists with an innovative virtual shopping experience designed to deliver an expertly guided but consumer eye view of its cars – all in real-time.
It’s called the Live Store. Fans connect through a dedicated micro-site that enables them to view live feed from a salesperson-cum-tour guide. Each guide wears a head-mounted camera integrated with MyStream technology by Brazilian communication specialist AgênciaClick Isobar.
The exact means by which viewers will communicate has not yet been revealed (instant messaging via a Skype-like conversation?). But it promises to be a highly agile, responsive experience, enabling the brand to demonstrate features in action, and focus on individual consumers’ priorities.
For more on the benefits of personalised service beyond the standard store, see Out-of-Hours Shopping in Anywhere Retailing.
The Fiat Live Store aims to capitalise on the engagement factor by creating a link between the experience and future sales. Following the virtual test drives, Live Store users will be prompted to book a physical equivalent via an onscreen icon that calls up details of their local showroom.
Optimising online experience is essential for all brands: purchasing decisions rarely begin in-store. For the auto retail sector, in particular, approximately 50% of consumers globally start their purchase journey with internet research (ThinkWithGoogle Dec.2011). Fiat believes that percentage may be as high as 70% for its own customers; its Brazil-based website is already notching up six million visitors per month.
The brand hopes using Live Store in the early stages of purchasing will shorten the decision-making process for consumers.