Online resources have become a major part of the shopping experiences for those looking for a new car. Think with Google statistics show that even back in 2017 nearly all (95 percent!) of buyers were looking online for info, and twice as many consulted the web for research instead of driving out to a dealership.
These virtual resources on the web can help buyers to research prices on desirable vehicles and even help them discover which vehicle might best suit their lifestyle (and budget). Vehicle stock photos can help enhance the user experience for dealership websites by showcasing vehicles in high resolution and offering 360 degree views of inventory vehicles.
While old-school car shopping once only included visits to dealerships to get up close and personal with vehicles, now high resolution photography and virtual showrooms allow shoppers to interact with and visually inspect the details of different vehicle models.
VEHICLE STOCK PHOTOS AND DEALERSHIP INVENTORY
For shoppers, it’s important to understand that vehicle stock photos showcased on a dealership’s website aren’t photos of the vehicles on the dealership’s own lot. What does this mean? Stock photos like those provided by EVOX Images are professional high-resolution images of a particular model. Photos will give shoppers views of the interior of the vehicle and even more up-close views of specific features that are standard for the vehicle model.
Stock photos from EVOX Images are available for commercial use on models dating back more than two decades. However, pre-owned vehicles found in a dealership’s inventory might have other features than those shown in a stock photo. Stock photos are beneficial, though, for researching the basic design and features of a specific model.
While stock photos help in the research phase of the buying process, visiting the dealership allows shoppers to see the vehicle in person, sit inside, and explore the vehicle’s own unique features. In addition, some dealerships might allow customers to schedule a specific model to be delivered to the home for a virtual test drive.
HOW STOCK PHOTOS ENHANCE USER EXPERIENCES
Dealerships might think that it’s simply easier to just take their own photos of inventory vehicles. For pre-owned photos, this might be a great option. For new models, however, professional stock photos can enhance the user experience by providing interactive experiences for site visitors.
Shoppers begin their car hunt online; during Covid, online options were even more important to the shopping process. In fact, online tools helped buyers during the pandemic lessen their time spent at the dealership to only two hours according to data from Kelley Blue Book.
Now, customers may be comfortable gathering details about prices of specific vehicles online and researching the value of a trade-in, too. Some shoppers might have no idea what model they want to purchase. Perhaps they are interested in a small sedan or a minivan.
Comparing different makes and models could help shoppers decide what vehicle is best for them…or maybe what vehicle appeals to them visually. Buying a car, choosing a new vehicle, can be a process for some buyers.
There are many individuals who know what they want. Maybe they’ve always been loyal to a specific brand. Others, though, might be new to the experience. Or maybe they don’t like the vehicle they currently drive and want to explore different options.
Photos can give insight about the details of a vehicle. If they are done right, that is. When shoppers are looking online, they may value sites that offer interactive photos that help them gain more information about a vehicle.
EVOX Images’ stock photos aren’t simply two-dimensional pictures of a specific model. Instead, they may allow users to explore the vehicle inside and out. Cars can be rotated to view the vehicle from different angles. Photos also allow users to see inside a vehicle, and even these interior shots can be interactive.
Dealerships, however, can choose what type of visual experience to provide to their site visitors. Not all dealerships may want interactive photos. EVOX Images also can provide an extensive photo series that showcases the interior and exterior details of the vehicle.
THE POWER OF IMAGES
Using professional photos provide a better experience for the user visually but these photos also may help elevate the look of the dealership’s site, too. Crisp, high-resolution photos can add to the appeal of the website.
Again, while dealerships could take these photos themselves, the result could be less than appealing. Lighting and even the background can take away from the visual allure of the vehicle. Professional photos are taken in ideal light conditions with a studio backdrop.
With stock photos, the car becomes the model. All details of the car are perfectly captured to allow the best experience for shoppers. These photos include up-close snapshots of vehicle features like the instrument panel and even the wheels.
Dealerships that opt for their own images might need to hire a professional photographer to take the photos. Or they may try to just photograph the vehicles with a digital camera. However, capturing every angle of the vehicle might be difficult. And while some dealerships might be able to create their own 360 degree experience, others might not have this capability.
Poorly captured car photos could take visitors away from the site. And maybe they decide to look elsewhere. The online experience and the visual journey can elevate or detract from the dealership’s website.
USING STOCK PHOTOS
Dealerships might have different budget points for their marketing endeavors. And this could push some dealers to go DIY with inventory photography. However, keeping customers on the website and interacting could potentially help the dealership gain sales.
If photos are high quality, customers might engage with the image sets for a longer duration. From there, they might be interested in visiting the dealership to see the inventory for the particular model that was explored via stock imagery.
And, ultimately, images found on a website may leave a lasting impression on visitors. If vehicle photos were poor quality or just poorly done, potential customers might remember that the website wasn’t valuable for their research. However, if the images were high-resolution and plentiful, customers might come back to the site when researching other models, too. Or they may simply choose to engage with that dealership beyond the online experience.
If budgets are a concern, dealerships could choose photo stills that showcase different views of the car. While stills aren’t interactive—that is, they can’t be rotated—they are high-quality images that show up-close details and features of the vehicle. Stills give customers a view of headlights, wheels, interior shots, the bumper…and nearly every edge of the car. Site visitors who are researching a particular model can enjoy a quality visual experience via a still photo slideshow.
Dealerships that want to provide a more interactive experience to customers could choose to use EVOX Images’ 360 degree exterior spin photos and/or 360 degree interior panoramas. These both allow users to rotate the vehicle for the ultimate viewing experience. The interior panoramas let visitors peer into the back seat and pivot their view back to the front seat. With these experiences, they can explore the car with the help of their computer mouse… or fingers (for those using a handheld device like a smartphone or tablet).
The online shopping experience was elevated during Covid, and using online resources for car shopping especially for research is becoming a normal part of the experience. Dealerships might consider examining their online offerings, especially the photos they provide of their inventory. Professional vehicle stock photos can provide site visitors with an interactive way to check out different models, but they also ensure that these potential customers get the best view possible of each model.