Innovative thought leadership for Automotive Video Marketing & Sales.

Virtual is the New Test Drive for Consumers

Posted by Jim Barisano on 11/28/2016

Virtual is the New Test Drive for Consumers

This is an exciting time to be in the online new and used car marketplace for a digital video technology company like WheelsTV. Think with Google’s October 2016 report entitled What These 3 Auto Trends Mean for Brands states: “Consumer behavior is changing—and VIDEO is leading the drive. In years’ past, a consumer might have read reviews in magazines, asked friends and relatives for advice, and visited any number of dealerships before settling on a vehicle. That practice has gone the way of the in-dash tape deck.” We might also add the glossy… Read More

Virtual is the New Test Drive for Consumers

This is an exciting time to be in the online new and used car marketplace for a digital video technology company like WheelsTV. Think with Google’s October 2016 report entitled What These 3 Auto Trends Mean for Brands states: “Consumer behavior is changing—and VIDEO is leading the drive. In years’ past, a consumer might have read reviews in magazines, asked friends and relatives for advice, and visited any number of dealerships before settling on a vehicle. That practice has gone the way of the in-dash tape deck.” We might also add the glossy brochures that you could only get by visiting a dealer’s showroom.

And while CarGurus, Truecar, AutoTrader and hundreds of other online services are still fighting it out with online listings featuring dry text and still photos, WheelsTV is the ONLY video technology company that has created, tested and successfully deployed a digital video platform that helps both in-market consumers and car dealers across North America do business more quickly, easily and far more enjoyably.

The Dealer Video Showroom or DVS is a patent-pending interactive video platform that puts the car shopper virtually behind the wheel for an engaging interactive virtual test drive. It covers each car’s features and benefits and gives the car shopper an exciting walkthrough of every car being shopped. Over 4,000 interactive videos covering 100% of the light vehicles from 2008 to present make car shopping a pleasure and save tremendous amounts of time for everyone involved.

screensBy making the car shopping process more efficient and fun for consumers, the DVS is doubling lead conversions for dealers across America, boosting site traffic to dealers’ inventory pages, the VDP’s and SRP’s, and helping to dramatically increase car sales. The fact is that traffic to Vehicle Detail Pages has now replaced showroom traffic as a way to forecast vehicle sales. The more VDP traffic a dealer gets, the more sales the dealer can expect. This is exactly what the DVS does. Every lead conversion and DVS video test drive takes place right on the dealer’s VDP’s and SRP’s. Once the car shopper discovers the best attributes of a vehicle, the next step is to select one from the dealer’s inventory and set an appointment for an actual test drive.

The Dealer Video Showroom’s interactive video brochure format replaces the print marketing brochure used by every dealership for the past seventy-five years. In-market consumers do hours of research in just a few minutes, right on the dealership’s search results pages and vehicle details pages. They have fun educating themselves on the vehicle’s best attributes and share the videos with friends and family via email, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

What Consumers Are Saying About the Dealer Video Showroom

Michael O’L, Toyota Buyer: “My wife and I really enjoyed taking these virtual test drives and learning about each car that nearby dealers had for sale. With the Dealer Video Showroom we narrowed our choices down from ten to just two, saving a ton of weekend time that would have been spent dragging our three kids to dealerships. We ended up taking a real test drive in a Toyota Sienna and bought it on the spot!”

Mary T, Chevrolet Buyer: “I know nothing about cars except where to put the gas. So I really appreciated getting the video that my Chevrolet dealer emailed to me. It showed me enough about the Impala that I was able to choose between performance and fuel economy, important for this daily commuter. We ended up doing business and believe it or not, it was a pleasure!”

David P, Jeep Buyer: “I was considering a mid-size to large SUV and wanted to get a good look at what was out there. I Googled “video test drive” and videos from both a Toyota dealer and Jeep dealer came up on the first page. Both dealerships used the Dealer Video Showroom. I took an interactive test-drive of both a Toyota 4 Runner and a Jeep Grand Cherokee on the dealers’ websites. Having done my homework, I went with a fully loaded Jeep from the Jeep dealer with the videos. Had I not found that Jeep dealer on page one of my Google search, I’d probably have gone elsewhere since they are 45 miles away from where I live.”

Gail T, Honda Buyer: “Although I don’t drive very much, my car was over ten years old, so it was time for a new one. I’d read about the Dealer Video Showroom in the Boston Globe and figured it was worth checking out since I needed to get educated on the new cars of today. After taking a bunch of virtual test-drives at a Honda dealer’s website, I settled on a Honda Accord Coupe and got on the phone with a fellow from the dealership. They worked up a low mileage lease for me and were very easy to work with since I know a lot more, having done my homework.”

How the Dealer Video Showroom Doubles Lead Conversions

Every dealership pays for Internet leads, buying hundreds or even thousands of leads per month with an average cost of $25 each. Unfortunately for the dealer, the same lead is sold to multiple dealers, so it becomes a scrum to see which dealer will get a car shopper’s attention and which dealer will get that car shopper to visit their website, look at their inventory, get a price, set an appointment and purchase a car.

Even if the dealer immediately acts on an Internet lead, the consumer will typically respond to that first email just 4% of the time. Working through the multiple steps of a typical CRM or customer relationship management system, an average of 60% of the leads will NEVER respond. If a dealer buys just 200 leads in a month, that dealer has wasted $3,000 and paid a sales associate for countless hours of chasing consumers who do not want to be bothered. But with the Dealer Video Showroom, the conversion rate from that first email (when the lead is hottest) DOUBLES, saving $1,500. Since the DVS costs just $499 per month, not only does the dealer save a net of $1001 per month, but logic tells you that with double the lead conversions and more engaged car shoppers, the dealer should double sales that originate from leads.

Here’s an infographic from our technology partner, CDK Global, that points out how VIDEO nearly doubles every key metric, particularly Lead Conversion. 


Where the Rubber Meets the Road

In A/B market tests conducted by WheelsTV, the Dealer Video Showroom out-performed Truecar, USAA, US News, GM, American Express and Consumer Reports COMBINED.  At a Massachusetts Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep/Ram dealership, email responses to leads that included the Dealer Video Showroom’s link got read by 65.8% of car shoppers. Truecar’s email response got read by 64.9%. But what is more important: More than twice as many consumers took video test drives (17) as printed a Truecar Certificate (7).

In one week, this dealership got a 33% first email response rate to Internet leads: 9 out of 27. ( As mentioned, typical response rates with the first email are just 4%.) Of those 9, 3 appointments were set and THREE SALES WERE MADE. That’s an 11% sales rate from just the first DVS email response in one week and a 100% success rate from appointments. In this one-week A/B test, all others, including Truecar, got just one appointment and zero sales.

Let’s talk ROI.

While only a sales associate can actually sell a car, the facts are clear: If a dealership doubles its conversion rate, drives more traffic to its SRP’s and VDP’s, and sets more appointments with educated, motivated consumers, it will sell many more cars. While doubling online conversions is the norm, WheelsTV has seen conversion rates as high as 10X (a Honda dealership in Northern California.) When talking ROI, a dealership can pay thousands of dollars for hundreds of leads that never convert, or the dealer can license the Dealer Video Showroom with unlimited streaming and numerous additional business-building features for less than $20 a day.

This patent-pending personalized video marketing platform has proven itself over the past two years at dealerships across America. Now, thanks to the DVS’s proven effectiveness, it’s available to dealers through two of the nation’s largest dealership website providers, CDK Global and

The Dealer Video Showroom Helps Dealers. 

  • Doubles the dealers’ lead conversions.
  • Keeps shoppers on the dealer’s website twice as long.
  • Exposes dealer inventory to engaged car shoppers who are ready to buy.
  • Generates goodwill, rapport and trust with car shoppers.
  • Adds engaging interactive videos to dealers’ CRM systems.
  • Boosts marketing and PR campaigns.
  • Improves market reach through video sharing via Email, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
  • Quickly trains sales associates in the best attributes of each new and used vehicle.

The Dealer Video Showroom Helps Consumers.

  • Provides an engaging, entertaining and informative vehicle research tool.
  • Includes vehicle data that is essential to making a sound buying decision.
  • Lets consumers instantly view the chapters on vehicle attributes of highest interest: Performance, Safety, Features, Fuel Economy, etc.
  • Delivers a video of the exact year, make and model of the car of interest.
  • Offers a video of every car the dealer has from 2008 to present. Pre-owned vehicle videos include accolades and awards achieved by the vehicle.
  • Includes EPA fuel economy estimates.
  • Covers key safety, performance and convenience features.
  • Indicates improvements from previous years.
  • Can be shared with friends and relatives for feedback on the potential purchase.

The Dealer Video Showroom’s Best Attributes

  • 100% Compatible with every dealer website and CRM system.
  • 100% Coverage from 2008 to Present: 4,000+ test drives and growing daily
  • Provides full-motion HD video appropriate for every car on a dealer’s lot
  • Successfully Tested and Proven
  • Deployed and working across America
  • Uses QR Codes to link to DVS videos, making dealers’ newspaper ads relevant again.
  • Educates sales associates in off-brand used cars on the lot.
  • Delivers Personalized Digital Video Marketing with a proven ROI of 100% improvement on lead conversions.

The Value of a Happy Dealer Video Showroom Customer


  • How do you measure the value of a car shopper who has entered “video test drive” into Google and then clicked on your dealership’s Dealer Video Showroom video link and taken a video test drive of one of the cars you have for sale?
  • What value do you place on that same person if they click to view your inventory?
  • How do you value that same person if they contact you to request a price?
  • How valuable to your dealership’s success is that same person when they’ve done their homework on your Dealer Video Showroom and are seriously considering the purchase of the car from you?
  • Finally, how much value do you place on that same person when he or she becomes your happy customer and tells friends and family about their great buying experience at your dealership?


Place a value on each of these levels of customer engagement and you’ll quickly see the exceptional value of the Dealer Video Showroom to both the dealer and to the consumer.

The Dealer Video Showroom is revolutionizing how cars are bought and sold with interactive digital video technology that makes the experience faster, easier and far more enjoyable.

To take your own virtual test drives and learn more, visit

If you would like more information on the Dealer Video Showroom, please click here to schedule a demo today!

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