Carfind.co.za, one of the pioneers of online buying and selling of cars in South Africa, has come up with yet another first: 360° interior views of cars that are for sale on www.carfind.co.za.
Significantly, the 360° interior view is not generic. Each and every view is that of a real car – be it new or used. No library files are used; buyers can view the interior of the actual car that they’re interested in purchasing.
This is a massive leap forward in the world of online vehicle purchasing because, as any car buyer will tell you, it’s vitally important to know what you’re actually buying. Prior to this innovation, that was impossible in South Africa, specifically when relating to the vehicle interior, as flat photographs never portrayed the interior optimally.
“The internet has played a massive – and important – role within the motor industry globally,” explains Frank McDouall, who conceptualised and co-founded Carfind.co.za in 2000 and is the current CIO. “But it’s not without its challenges.”
One of those challenges is taking the conventional dealer showroom floor experience (whereby the buyer examines the car inside and out) and then replicating this experience online. “Honestly speaking, this is not easy to do. Yes, of course there are photographs of the vehicle online. But flat photographs have limitations; they’re designed to portray the car’s finest features. Furthermore, photographs are better suited to displaying the exterior of a car,” McDouall explains.
He contends that photographs do not work as well for the interior of a vehicle. “It is much harder to examine the interior of any car if one only has flat photographs in front of you. And there is no denying that the interior of a car is very important; after all, it’s where you spend your time!” comments McDouall.
Enter “360° viewing”, courtesy of Carfind.co.za, which is yet another practical pioneering development from this innovative company. “Thanks to this brand-new concept, we are offering car buyers the opportunity to see a 360° view of the car’s interior. This adds further value to the consumer and highlights our drive to be consumer focused. We’re constantly striving to add value for the end user,” he says.
The 360° feature is a real bonus to buyers of both new and used cars. Want to compare the various interior options on a new car? You can do this easily – at the click of a button. This feature will negate the need to trawl through endless car showrooms, opening and closing car doors while searching for that perfect (but, sometimes, seemingly unattainable) interior. Each and every different interior colour and trim option can be examined with better perceptive detail – and in seconds.
Incredibly, when visiting Carfind.co.za with your mobile device, you can inspect the interior of the car thoroughly – simply by moving your mobile device. The device almost acts like your head; it’s as though you’re actually sitting in the car, turning your head to examine the rear seats, for instance. The technology can best be described as “immersive”, as McDouall explains: “It’s almost as good as sitting in the actual car. I only say ‘almost’ because the only things that are missing are the smell and touch of the car, so the tactile elements. Otherwise, the experience is as close to the real thing that one can simulate in the online realm.”
McDouall stresses that the 360° internal view is not generic. “This is very important. It is specific to each and every vehicle. So, if there is a stain on the seat or the upholstery is scuffed, the buyer will see this immediately,” explains McDouall.
Carfind.co.za is currently rolling out the concept nationally across the 1000-plus dealership showroom floors that list their cars on Carfind.co.za, with around 900 cars already boasting the 360° interior view feature. “Many dealers have recognised the benefits of the 360° interior view, and so the number of cars with this feature is growing daily,” says McDouall. Significantly, buyers can filter out cars without this feature – so they can view only those models that do have the 360° interior view.
McDouall says that this new feature will, once again, distinguish the Carfind.co.za website from all other vehicle listing websites. “The car buying process is fraught with uncertainty. Buyers are understandably nervous; a new or used car is a big investment. We believe that, with the 360° interior view, we are going a long way towards allaying their fears. We aim to ensure that we offer value to the consumer and we want him or her to be able to make a well-informed decision before speaking to the dealer. This new feature will allow buyers to make a more informed decision; they will know exactly what they want (or don’t want) before they visit the dealership. We at Carfind.co.za believe that this is yet another significant development for the South African consumer who is shopping for a vehicle online – and so we’re incredibly proud to be the first to bring this technology to market,” he concludes.
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