How to sell cars online with live stream shopping

Selling cars online

The Renault Group used a special approach to selling cars, as car sales have dropped in 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. What’s the secret sauce? Live stream shopping and online car sales.

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New car sales have dropped by 20% in 2020

According to a study by JD Power and Motor Intelligence, new car sales have seen a 20% decrease in sales in 2020, with a low point of -46% YOY new car sales in April.

This means the auto industry and especially auto dealerships have taken quite a hit. The main culprits: restrictions, Covid-19 related health worries, uncertainty about future income.

Decrease in car sales in 2020

As such consumers have postponed planned purchases. However, the desire for purchasing new cars shows a quick rebound. However, the Covid numbers are still high. Automotive companies needed to find a way to replicate the in-dealership car sales experience, without endangering their staff and customers.

Car sales through live stream shopping

Some companies have taken bold approaches to selling their cars in times of trouble. One such company is the Renault Group. The company launched their new Dacia models (Stepway and Logan) in a live stream shopping session. For three days (2nd to 4th of December 2020), they’ve streamed a real-life presentation of the cars, using hired actors that were briefed on the car features.

Selling cars online
Using a virtual showroom, the company was able to replicate the real life shopping experience for their customers.

The company used a live commerce solution to manage their live showroom and allow customers to ask questions. The flow of information was interactive, from the presenters to the audience, with the audience asking questions that were answered in real-time.

This is one of the first online campaigns for car sales that involves a direct to consumer sales channel. Traditionally, consumers were unlikely to buy through the usual ecommerce sites, given obvious lack in experience features that would convert visitors so prospects or directly buyers.

What does this mean for the automotive industry?

Covid has accelerated the digitalisation of many industries and marketing approaches. Big ticket item sales, such as cars, jewellery or real estate have resisted using digital channels to reach their customers.

What Renault has proven in their Dacia sales is that anything can be sold online, with the right experience. We just didn’t had the right tools. Until now.

Author: Mihai Mike Dragan

Mihai Mike Dragan is an ecommerce expert and the cofounder and COO of Oveit, a global company focusing on live experiences technology, both virtual and in-person. Mike has an experience of over 15 years in building digital products, with a focus on ecommerce. He has worked with some of the largest consumer brands in the world, advising on their digital go to market strategy.   Mike Dragan is also the author of the "Understanding Omnichannel Retail - beyond clicks vs. bricks" ebook, a guide for companies that understand consumer behaviour across media. He holds two degrees, one in International Economics and one in Computer Science.

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