Cadillac is betting that on-demand online conversations with dealers and digital tire-kicking of cars from the comfort of home computers can translate into test drives in real life.
“Cadillac Live,” which launches Monday on live.cadillac.com, is an online showroom where customers can have one-on-one video chats with sales agents who are able to demonstrate features and properties of Cadillac cars while answering questions on the spot. Customers can then request to test-drive the cars at their local dealerships.
Melissa Grady, chief marketing officer at Cadillac, says it’s an effort to explore the ways today’s Cadillac customers might like to shop, as well as a strategic approach to get qualified leads into physical dealerships.
"How do customers want to shop for a car?” she asks. “We want to give a customer enough information on the vehicle that they want to go in and test-drive it. [Cadillac Live] is the whole experience they would have [at a dealership] besides getting behind the wheel.”
For now, the initiative is a pilot test featuring 10 vehicles from Cadillac’s 2019 lineup, as well as its Cadillac CT4 and CT5, launching at the beginning of 2020. At launch, anyone in the United States can log in at live.cadillac.com to video chat with a live salesperson, invite someone else to join, view a pre-recorded session or book a session with a live agent at another date. Shoppers can see and hear the live agents, but the live agents can only hear the shopper without seeing them.
Customers can also choose to just take a virtual tour the showroom itself. The digital showroom is available at all times, and live agents are available on Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. the next day, Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., EST.