Luxury cars are an investment, and buyers of these high-end vehicles might expect to be wowed when researching their options online. If a buyer is investing $100,000 or more in a vehicle, they want to find impactful images online that show them more details about their options.
Car stock images are useful for dealerships when capturing the basic data of specific makes and models. These images show interior and exterior details up close and even provide shots of the model in different paint hues. What is the best image type for luxury car photography? Are some images more impactful than others for marketing these vehicles to high-end buyers?
Here’s what dealerships need to know about choosing imagery to enhance the online user experience for luxury car buyers.
Defining a Luxury Car
The definition of luxury car could differ from dealership to dealership. Most will agree, though, that luxury cars include high-end features that might be upgraded options in standard vehicles. The details in the design also will be more intricate.
The price of luxury also denotes the status of these cars. While some buyers might think that ‘luxury’ costs six figures, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) explains that the price of luxury actually starts at $40,000.
Luxury cars also are different from what would be considered a ‘couture car.’ These vehicles are limited in number—sometimes only one vehicle exists. The rarer the automobile, the higher the price tag. Couture cars can cost millions. Those who can afford these vehicles might not have any designated budget.
Images of couture cars also are not typically available via car stock libraries. Since these cars might be a one-off design, images might not even be accessible beyond the buyer. In addition, not many buyers can afford a couture car and dealerships won’t really have a need to market them.
Luxury cars, however, are marketed by dealerships and these vehicles typically aren’t limited in supply or number. Their price could fluctuate based on the selected trim and any additional features selected by the buyer.
Popular luxury car brands include:
Luxury cars are included in stock photo libraries offered by EVOX Images. Dealerships can access different photo options for each make/model and year. Image choices include assets that can be integrated into augmented reality experiences, spin photos, still photo sets, three-angle color sets (displaying different paint hue options), and more.
What Images do Luxury Buyers Want?
According to data compiled by Gravy Analytics, luxury car buyers tend to make a decision quickly. The site noted that luxury buyers in the millennial demographic only look for 18 days; Gen X and Baby Boomers take around 20 days. Gravy Analytics also explained that these buyers are willing to go the distance (literally) for the car they want.
In contrast to Gravy Analytics, Cox Automotive’s 2019 Car Buyer Journey Study found that luxury buyers actually take longer to find a car. In an article that summarized the findings of the study, it was noted that “…while nearly half of non-luxury buyers are purchasing within one month or less, only 33% of luxury buyers purchase within that time frame.”
The study also found that luxury buyers were more motivated by want (or “emotional triggers”) than need of a new vehicle. The article pointed out that “…62% say they are in the market because they want a new vehicle….”
Do images really matter to these buyers? Images could be impactful to this buying segment as many of them are making decisions on their emotions.
Dealerships can focus on including a slideshow of images that help luxury buyers better understand the features and unique design of a specific luxury automobile model. In addition, immersive and interactive experiences also could be impactful in reaching these buyers.
To create a luxury viewing experience that best showcases luxury models, dealerships can integrate augmented reality or virtual reality showrooms online to let buyers preview these models. Both augmented reality and virtual reality engage users and enhance the online experience.
EVOX Images includes a library of images for each make/model that are compatible with augmented reality experiences. These images can be dropped into the user’s environment and explored with the aid of the camera from a mobile device (a smartphone or a tablet).
Dealerships also could design a virtual reality experience that customers could access using a headset like Google Cardboard. These experiences help to transform the shopping journey into an interactive and immersive adventure.
With augmented reality, users can see a 3D model of their selected vehicle in their selected environment. The experience could allow the user to walk around the vehicle or even explore the interior.
Virtual reality experiences transport users to another environment. Dealerships can design a virtual reality showroom that looks exactly like the dealership’s physical showroom space. In this way, dealerships can simulate the in-person experience from home (or any mobile location).
Luxury buyers might not need a vehicle; they could be making a purchase decision simply from an emotional desire. Dealerships can provide luxury buyers with a vast array of images and experiences to help them find their dream car or even the car they didn’t know they needed (or wanted).
Include an expansive photo slideshow compiled from professional stock imagery sourced from EVOX Images, but dealerships also should heighten the user experience with augmented reality or virtual reality showrooms.
Dealerships also shouldn’t forget about offering imagery related to paint options for each model. EVOX Images offers three-angle color sets that help buyers understand the paint hue options for different vehicles. Dealerships also could integrate a color change option in augmented reality or virtual reality experiences so that buyers can preview their favorite model in different available paint trims.
Buyers don’t always want to leave home to conduct their research, but luxury buyers might be more willing to travel when they are ready to buy the car that they want.
Go Custom for Used and Unique Options
Some dealerships procure a unique luxury vehicle from a buyer trade-in. Some models could be rarer or just include unique details that cannot be captured via stock photos.
EVOX Images offers a custom photo option for dealerships that want to highlight a specific vehicle on their lot. These photo shoots can include a unique backdrop, luxury props or even small special touches that help complement the design and unique qualities of the vehicle. Some dealerships also could feature the dealership owner.
When marketing a unique couture or luxury car, dealerships also might be mindful of content that accompanies images. The marketing copy or online copy for these vehicles should be engaging and provide the necessary details that buyers want as they search for their ideal luxury purchase. Copy also should reflect the luxury status of the vehicle.
Custom photos are exclusive to the dealership. These images won’t be included in stock libraries.
Why DIY Photos Might Fail
Luxury car buyers are often shopping out of want or emotional pull not out of need. These buyers also might like the status that these vehicles evoke. Images could move these shoppers to the next phase of the buying journey or they could dissuade them completely.
Imagery helps to showcase the vehicle. While dealerships might think that DIY photos are completely acceptable, the wrong lighting or backdrop could decrease the beauty and the luxury feel of a higher-priced vehicle. While DIY photos could be fine for older, used models, when marketing new luxury models, dealerships might focus on high-quality professional stock photos.
By using EVOX Images’ photo library, dealerships have access to images for thousands of makes and models. Choose to integrate these professional images into augmented reality experiences or use them to create a compelling photo slideshow that helps luxury buyers understand all the features and design components of the model. Professional stock photos are the best image choice for marketing luxury automobiles to the discerning luxury buyer.