In India, two-wheelers have become more of a lifestyle product, than a functional need. To keep this change in trend, TVS Motors wanted to take a new approach with its premium offering, the Apache RR 310 and provide customers with a unique buying experience. The COVID-19 breakout and forced lockdown across India have only accelerated TVS’ adoption of a new approach with Augmented Reality (AR).
TVS also considered the fact that most customers are well-informed about the basic specifications of the motorcycle, which they explore through phones and computers. Overall, TVS wanted to offer a comprehensive and more engaging buying experience to its customers. To do this, TVS collaborated with its long-standing technology partner PTC, a digital transformation company, to create a unique sales program. TVS leveraged PTC’s Augmented Reality solution with Vuforia Engine (leading development platform for creating powerful, photo-realistic AR experiences) to help drive sales for the company.
Together with PTC, the motorcycle manufacturer came up with the ARIVE app, which not only enables users to click on a particular feature to know more about it but also watch videos, change colour options in real-time, and even give the user a virtual idea about how the motorcycle (Apache RR 310) would look when parked at their home. To understand more about the partnership between TVS and PTC, and what the future holds, Express Mobility spoke to Kalyan Sridhar, the Country Manager for PTC.
He said, “The relationship between TVS and PTC dates back to almost 25 years. We have been part of TVS’ moped, scooter, and motorcycle journey. The two-Wheler market today caters to the new generation, where bikes are more of a lifestyle and to cater to this crowd, TVS needed to build an experience that is modern, engaging, and interactive”.
After quite a few brainstorming sessions, TVS decided on AR. “When we presented the various capabilities of AR and how this can address the area of how customers perceive the brand, TVS liked it,” added Kalyan. TVS had two clear objectives — increasing customer satisfaction by 10% and increasing sales. We were hit by COVID amid those discussions. The AR experience not just opened up new experiences for the potential customers evaluating the bikes, but also helped TVS in launching new products with live demos on Facebook Live, the response for which has been extremely positive.” said Kalyan.
PTC Country Manager added, “We now have a million developers in the Vuforia AR platform, which puts us way ahead of the competition. And by far, we are the largest developer community and platform of choice for AR development”.
One interesting aspect Kalyan pointed was towards analyst reports on people’s buying mindset with 80% of them doing their homework before even visiting showrooms. Kalyan added, “This was the case even before COVID; they look at demos, digital content and evaluate before visiting the showroom”. This gave us the idea of integrating a feature in the ARIVE app to help customers see how a particular motorcycle will look in their parking lot using AR and give users a unique experience before buying one.”
The journey from here on is very exciting and promising. The possibilities are endless. The AR feature can be used across the TVS range of motorcycles and scooters, while it can also be used for aftersales. Small DIY jobs can help customers fix a fuse or connect battery terminals, while on a larger scale, it can offer blown-up images of the engine internals to help service technicians. Apart from TVS, PTC is also working with many other OEMs to develop interesting AR-based features.