As an e-Commerce retailer that sells gas and charcoal grills, outdoor kitchen equipment and entertainment, BBQGuys understands that driving conversion of such high-consideration purchases may be difficult, especially when shoppers don’t view the grills in person. To elevate the online journey, provide a more detailed visual experience and drive customer engagement, BBQGuys decided to offer 3D- and AR-enabled visualizations of select products directly on their product pages.
With the Vertebrae Axis platform, the retailer has improved mobile conversion rates 32%, and even increased Average Order Value (AOV) 12% for both mobile and desktop shoppers.
Using a desktop or mobile browser, Vertebrae’s 3D platform enables online shoppers to rotate, zoom in and view gas grills at different angles, as well as assess the grills’ finish, sheen and size. Mobile shoppers get the added benefit of using the “View on My Patio” AR function to place a life-sized virtual grill right in their own backyard ― or any other location — without needing to download an app.
BBQGuys transformed several of its top-selling items, including the Blaze 32-inch Built-in Natural Gas Grill, to kick off the 3D/AR experience.
“Any type of product information, whether it’s videos, multiple images or 360-degree views, really helps sell the product,” said Jason Stutes, VP of Ecommerce and Analytics at BBQGuys in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “I wouldn’t say we were particularly looking for 3D modeling or AR, but it was kind of a no-brainer to start testing these technologies.”
Higher ‘Revenue Per Interaction’ Metric Determines A/B Test Results
Stutes noted that the retailer started the pilot with a small set of products and ran a 50/50 test through Adobe Analytics, first on mobile and then on desktop. The company continues to perform random tests to discover higher-performing areas throughout the site, such as the home page, as a way to gauge how soon customer become engaged in the experience. Stutes pointed out a specific metric he seeks out ― revenue per interaction — across several sections of the site.
“We make sure that when the metrics say that certain widgets on our site are driving revenue per interaction at a much higher rate, we try to expose those widgets much more on the site,” Stutes said. “The key is you don’t want to put too many elements on the page to overexpose a product. You want to make sure that the things that result in a good shopping experience get promoted on your site. We just didn’t want to randomly put the features everywhere on our site.”
BBQGuys Sets Goal To Triple 3D/AR Deployment In 2020
While BBQGuys is testing 3D and AR across nearly 100 SKUs, the goal is to triple the deployment of the Axis technology across its product assortment in 2020. The plan going into the summer season is to deploy AR features for its outdoor TVs and electric fireplaces. Additionally, the company is seeking to enhance the user experience for viewing the grills.
“That could be opening and closing the grill hood or diving deep inside the guts of a grill to see what’s inside,” Stutes said. “I equate this to how people shop in the car buying experience. You really know what a BMW or a Land Rover looks like on the exterior, but you really start seeing the benefits of those items when you start peeking under the hood. Once you start seeing the seamless leather in luxury cars, you get a sense of why you’re dishing out more funds for those quality goods.”
Ultimately, the Verterbrae technology supports what BBQGuys prides itself on: education. Stutes described the typical purchase at the retailer as “very spec-heavy,” making it pivotal to give the consumer as much information about the product ahead of time as possible.
“Somebody doesn’t just wake up one day and decide to purchase some products for their kitchen,” Stutes said. “It’s a very time-consuming, well-thought-out process, and we try to be there every step of the way, from measuring your outdoor kitchen space to buying the products to then sending those specs to your contractor. We try to be that end-to-end solution for the customer, so this all fits right in line with that. I feel like that’s a win-win for the brand itself.”