Are you already using Facetime to follow up leads?

The Fiat Live Store in Brazil shows how automotive retail will look like, even before Virtual Reality makes its appearance. But what do we do ourselves? Do we wait or ….?


For those who do not know the Fiat Live Store: the Fiat Live Store is a showroom concept where the customer can view a Fiat online with the help of a Fiat employee in the showroom. That Fiat man or woman informs his lead on the basis of image and sound by giving real-time answers to the questions. If the customer wants to look inside the car, the Fiat employee will give an impression of the interior using a camera. And so on. It is a beautiful way of looking and buying, online and yet live. Fiat Brazil was the first with this approach and so far their approach has not yet found a connection with other Fiat importers. Only Spain ventured an attempt with Google Glasses, but since then it has remained silent.

An unnecessary silence, because we can make the next step to Virtual Reality today. Each car company has smartphones with Facetime. Of course, the more innovative dealers use Ventavid or CitNOW, but the question is: does the video lead to better conversion, or the process behind it and the ‘personal’ contact that video can offer?


When I look at myself, and especially at my eight-year-old son, he gives the answer. When I work at night, giving a presentation, he always wants to see me and speak to me before he goes to bed. An eight-year-old child apparently finds it perfectly normal to use Facetime to make contact.

It’s not even a tricky business. The technology is there, on a scale (everyone has or is near a device with Facetime), the infrastructure is there (fast internet) and the customer of 2017 is familiar with it. For those who have doubts, just look at how often that customer watches live videos. Would that same customer not want to communicate live with his car company?

Specifically: someone calls for information about a certain car that is offered via Marktplaats. You pick up and the customer looks for information about the wear and tear on the car. You can tell what you see, you can send photos or you can act as if the customer is standing with you and you go ‘live’. How? By using Facetime, by Facebook live, Periscope or whatever. You have a direct conversation thanks to the technology, you answer the questions and you leave an excellent first impression. And with that you win the first battle for the buyer, because do not forget: the lead remains the starting point of a dialogue.

Overdone? Look at the alternatives and decide for yourself what you think has the most effect. If you think of video: a video had the right to exist when sharing live images was not possible.

Based on the many live videos on Twitter, Facebook and other channels, we can conclude that live video is the new standard. Let 2017 be the year in which — thanks to that technology — we sell more cars. 2017 will be the year in which the competition still thinks that only the price is decisive for success.

Orginal article

About Paul de Vries

Paul de Vries became a Key Automotive Spokesperson at eBay (Marketplace) after selling to eBay back in 2015. Paul is the founder and CEO of the #DCDW and the presenter of the #DCDW Podcast. He is also a by dealers and importers frequently asked speaker in the online automotive industry. Paul is the winner of the prestigious Lighthouse Award 2016 in the U.S.! `Lead the Way op de digitale snelweg’ and “Follow-UP are Paul’s new books, which can be used as a guide in the online automotive industry. More information is available at:

hoofdfoto Paul

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