From watercraft and snowmobiles to quadbikes and trikes, Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) offer some of the most exciting, dynamic, and configurable vehicles in the world. Creating configurators to match them, however, is a major challenge. Capturing the essence of each unique vehicle while displaying every option in true-to-life quality - and doing so through an accessible and engaging experience - is no easy task. So, BRP worked with ZeroLight to achieve this, setting a new industry standard in the process.
First launched in 2020, the project now includes pioneering 3D configurators for four BRP brands: Can-Am (Off-Road and On-Road), Lynx, Sea-Doo, and Ski-Doo. As BRP's visualisation provider, ZeroLight has played a crucial role in developing and scaling these solutions globally.
Why are Configurators so Important?
It's no secret that the world is moving online, and retail is no exception. Digital touchpoints are used as a source of information for 95% of vehicle shoppers (Google), so websites are more important than ever before. Customers want to visualise every option, explore each feature, and compare all alternatives, and they want to do so from the comfort of their own home.
This trend has been steadily building for years, but coronavirus has ramped things up significantly. With showrooms and physical stores closed across the world for months on end, online transformed from the most convenient touchpoint to the only touchpoint. While this context might be temporary, the shift in consumer behaviour will likely linger. Forward-thinking brands like BRP are ensuring that they are able to meet these rising expectations.
The Challenge of ‘Getting it Right'
There are many common ways to build a configurator, but almost all of them result in a bad customer experience (McKinsey). Whether it's due to limited options, low-quality visuals, or poor mobile performance (or all three), most attempts are littered with flaws. The reason is simple: making a comprehensive configurator is hard. Modern vehicles have trillions of possible configurations; displaying every one of these is a major undertaking.
The traditional approach sees brands create thousands of static images of the most common options, and customers can flick between them on the website. Not only does this limit the user experience, but the development process is also slow, complicated, and expensive, particularly at scale. This is especially the case for BRP's vehicles, which have a vast array of customisable options, ranging from ploughs and cargo racks to alternative snowmobile skis and drinks coolers.
For brands looking to create a premium customer experience, configurators like these will not suffice. Expectations are on the rise, and retailers are under pressure to act quickly to meet them. Luckily, there is a way to achieve this.
The Cloud-Based Solution
To avoid these issues, BRP used ZeroLight's Palette configurator. Part of the company's Beam Suite of cloud-based visualisation tools, Palette enables customers to view any configuration option in stunning quality. They can even immerse themselves in a high-resolution virtual environment as they do so.
Palette is powered by ZeroLight's real-time engine, so every interaction and configuration change is rendered live. This means customers can view any option they want without lags or delays, and because this is rendered in the cloud, they can do so on any device they like. This last point is crucial: 60% of customers interact with a brand through multiple channels, and they expect consistency (Deloitte). The only way this can be achieved is via a centralised, cloud-based platform.
After configuring online, customers can send their configuration to their nearest dealer, easily share it with their friends, or save it for later. The cookie-based save function means it's easy to pause and pick up the session where they left off on another day.
Crafting the Customer Experience
The user interface (UI) was designed and developed by ZeroLight's bespoke arm, ZL+. Every element of the configurator was designed to maximise the user experience (UX) throughout, including an ultra-wide configuration window, a collapsible and non-intrusive UI, and intuitive icon designs.
"This landmark project has set a new industry standard in collaboration with our partners at BRP. Consumers can now personalise their vehicles in unprecedented detail wherever, whenever, and however they like. We are incredibly proud of the progress so far, and we look forward to future successes as we continue the global roll-out."
Darren Jobling, CEO, ZeroLight
After the initial launch, the BRP project has rapidly expanded. Configurators are now live for 19 model lines from across the 5 brands. This is on a global scale: the solutions have been rolled out in 59 countries - and counting.
The configurators have played a crucial part in BRP's Next-Gen website update project, which won company-wide recognition for its global marketing impact. This includes some major ROIs:
To offer seamless customer experiences like this, the ZeroLight platform requires readily accessible high performance computing power, which is why it runs on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure. AWS offers the globally available Amazon EC2 G4 instances and low-latency content delivery tools that enable the ZeroLight platform to reach car-buyers on any device with immersive digital configurator experiences. AWS also empowers the ZeroLight platform and its customers to cost efficiently deliver high-quality photorealistic 3D content to end users.
Get in touch to discuss how ZeroLight's solutions can be incorporated into your business.