Feature Tour™ enables auto dealers to protect margins by showcasing value-added vehicle features to online car shoppers
SYRACUSE, NY – March 7, 2019 – Impel, the global leader in digital automotive merchandising software, announced today the launch of Feature Tour® – designed specifically to help auto dealers and OEMs increase gross margins by showcasing the key features and options included on their vehicles. Impel’s newest product offering replaces static VDP feature lists with customizable multimedia experiences based on a consumer’s self-identified interests. By highlighting the most relevant features and options of a particular vehicle, dealers are able to help shoppers understand the inherent value of that vehicle. Feature Tour helps consumers make more accurate product comparisons while also providing tangible justification for a dealer’s published price. Feature Tour content is currently available for more than 450 features across 18 OEMs.
Why it Matters: Today’s vehicles are equipped with complex features and capabilities that are difficult to explain. Lengthy lists and descriptions included on traditional VDPs do little to inform and educate online shoppers, especially in a mobile-first world. As a result, many consumers are forced to leave a dealer’s website to conduct additional research. Others disregard features altogether and use price as the primary decision driver when comparing vehicles from various retailers. These factors have contributed to eroding gross margins for dealers. Feature Tour addresses these challenges by bringing curated videos, images and explainer content directly to consumers while they explore the vehicles on a dealer’s website. Impel’s proprietary multimedia personalization engine educates consumers by showcasing the unique and valuable features of each vehicle that are most relevant to each individual shopper.
“While OEMs continue to enhance vehicles with a broad assortment of sophisticated, technology-enabled features, dealers are finding it harder and harder to communicate the value of these new capabilities to online car shoppers,” said Devin Daly, Impel Co-Founder and CEO. “Feature Tour provides auto retailers with a fundamentally new way to tell the unique story of each vehicle in their inventory. It’s yet another way that Impel is helping dealers harness the power of digital merchandising technology to deliver a better experience while maximizing the value of every shopper visit.”
How it works: Using Impel’s cloud-based software platform and database of OEM-endorsed content, dealers are able to automatically add a Feature Tour to any vehicle detail page. Online shoppers who visit those VDPs are then able to access a guided, virtual walk-through of the vehicle’s key features and options. Users can review all of a vehicle’s key features, or they can customize their Feature Tour based on self-identified areas of interest: safety, performance, technology or convenience. Valuable information regarding the shopper’s preferences and interests is then captured and used to suggest other vehicles with similar features, as well as facilitate more personalized follow-up communication from the dealer.
“Impel’s digital merchandising platform has already made a measurable impact on our business by bringing shoppers to our website and keeping those shoppers engaged longer,” said Gary Pretzfeld, Dealer Principal, AutoTrust USA. “Feature Tour provides another powerful capability that will enable us to develop even stronger emotional connections with consumers before they ever set foot in our physical showrooms. By making shoppers more aware and knowledgeable of the specifics of each vehicle, they’ll be able to make faster and more confident buying decisions.”
Impel offers automotive dealers, OEMs and online marketplaces the industry’s most advanced platform for digital automotive merchandising. The company’s 360° WalkAround® technology builds trust between buyers and sellers by bringing the physical showroom experience to car shoppers wherever and whenever they want. Impel’s proprietary shopper behavioral data and VINtelligent Retargeting® solution enable dealers to deliver hyperpersonalized interactions across the entire car shopping journey. To date, more than 200 million virtual WalkArounds have been experienced by car shoppers across 15 countries. To learn more about Impel, visit Impel.io.