As the pandemic continues, restaurants and grocery stores are changing how they run their day-to-day operations. They are selling to the public in the form of drive-thru, carryout, pickup, and online orders.
Those businesses lend themselves to the buy online and pick up later models. But what does the future hold in store for businesses that typically have consumers walk through and test drive a product before purchasing?
Some RV dealers have used social media technology to create a new buying experience. Wilkins RV in New York came up with a three-day Virtual RV Show. Virtual tours are not a new idea. You can look through still photos or videos of a house on the market or a hotel room before you book it. Wilkins RV, however, used social media technology to add another level of realism to their virtual tours.
Using Facebook Live, company representatives did tours of RV models. By using this live streaming platform, customers were able to ask questions and have them answered by the person giving the tour in real-time. They devoted each day of the three-day show to a different type of RV: travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes.
The idea, conjured up by Wilkins’ marketing manager and the dealerships’ website provider, was so popular they are toying with the idea to do Facebook Live walkthroughs once a week. They have used the initial idea to roll out an option on their website to schedule a personal virtual tour of their models.
At times it feels like we are already living in the proverbial future. With a couple of taps of a phone screen, we can have a vast array of products sent across the world and to our doorstep in a matter of days.
We can even use our phones and computers as virtual reality devices to tour the seven wonders of the world from our living rooms. Who knows? As businesses find new ways to bridge the gap between their customers and social distancing regulations, you may one day be able to request a personal salesperson to give you a live tour of a new RV with a tap of your phone.
Levi Henley is a freelance writer and has also been full-time RVing with his wife and pets since 2015.