Augmented Reality Sales Tool
How to avoid customers returning unused products
Buying a voluminous product can remain a puzzle when there is little space available at home. Some customers will be brave enough to take measures. Others will be too lazy and will trust their instinct, therefore exposing themselves to misjudgments and big frustrations. It’s the story of the young couple who couldn’t figure out how to take their brand new sofa up to their flat located on third floor because the stairs were too narrow. It is also the common problem that Decathlon has to face we too many customers send back their outdoor trampolines.
Preview a voluminous product at home
Decathlon wanted to give its customers an easy way to preview their trampoline at home using augmented reality.
Retailers had already launched some augmented reality product demonstrators a couple of years back now. Many people remember Ikea’s iPad application to preview some pieces of furniture of their catalog from home. This AR application required a marker to be printed on a sheet of paper to display the 3D model over it.
This technology was very flawed. First, some customers are not necessarily equipped with a printer to print their marker. Then there were the technological issues. Displaying a virtual asset over a physical marker can become very unstable due to several factors: poor focus on the mobile device’s camera, bad luminosity or movements. In the cas of an outdoor trampoline, your marker was likely to fly away due to the wind making it impossible to preview your trampoline in AR.
“Markerless augmented reality”
New technologies ARKit (brought by Apple) and ARCore (brought by Google) were launched in 2018 and enable our common smartphones to manage “markerless” augmented reality applications. These technologies can detect automatically all plane surfaces of the user’s surrounding environment. It can also analyze distances and obstacles.
The emergence of these new frameworks was a windfall for Decathlon. We used these new technologies to develop an AR demonstrator of their trampolines and that was the first time augmented reality was used for such purpose by the retailer. User experience is easy as pie. The application detect all plane surfaces of the outdoor environment on which is to be put the virtual trampoline. The user then selects one of the four trampolines available on the app and touches the screen to place it. He can then move the trampoline if he wants to by sliding it. The trampoline is displayed in true scale which means that if a user walks five meters back from where the virtual trampoline was placed, he will actually see the trampoline as if it was placed at five meters of his telephone.