At the recent NADA show held in Dallas, Texas in January of this year Car Media unveiled what can be called its next-generation vehicle merchandizing tool, Car Media 360.
Car Media 360 is the latest iteration of the company’s Car Media self-service vehicle merchandizing tool Car Media 2.0. The Car Media 360 application allows staff to take – in addition to photos of new and pre-owned vehicle inventory to be used on a dealership’s website or on a vehicle marketplace – 360-degree views of both the interior and exterior of a vehicle that can be then viewed either on a website or a mobile device. And it can be created in about 10 minutes following the app’s step-by-step templates that guides a person through taking the photos and the 360-degree capture.
“We started off as a lot capture company some 10 years ago, sending out photographers to take pictures of a dealer’s inventory,” said Randy Price, vice-president, growth, with Car Media – an AutoVerify company. “Then we recognized the need to deliver a solution that dealers could use on their own, using their own resources. So, we developed the first iteration of Car Media, that helped dealers in how to position a vehicle, what photos to take and in what sequence to take the photos.”
Price said Car Media 360 does much of the same while adding the ability to create a full 360-degree view of the exterior or interior of the vehicle and then to add a set of ‘hotspots’ to the image. Those ‘hotspots’ allow the dealership to then create a specific video or even provide additional information on the vehicle. As an example, a dealership can create a hotspot to show a short video where a sales agent demonstrates the Power Deployable Running Boards, or the Foldable Pickup Box Extender on a 2023 Ford-150 Limited; or to demonstrate the vehicle’s advanced Touchscreen and other significant interior features.
While multiple ‘hotspots’ can be created, Price recommended that no more than five to seven be created for either the interior or exterior of the vehicle. The reason is to not crowd the vehicle with too many ‘hotspots’ as they would become a distraction – covering up the vehicle exterior and interior – and they would be hard for a person to navigate about the vehicle on a mobile device.
At the NADA show, Price also announced that Car Media 360 and Car Media was now a preferred Vehicle Merchandizing provider for General Motors US Dealer Solutions (DDS) Program under the GM Images pillar.