PGH Bricks & Pavers™ is one of Australia’s largest clay brick manufacturers. PGH wanted to provide new home builders with an industry-leading tool to help them visualise and customise the bricks for their home. The result was a web-based app built on cutting edge 3D rendering technology, with additional virtual reality capability.
PGH Bricks & Pavers™, a leading Australian brick manufacturer, needed a convenient way to help new home builders select bricks. The company had an online brick Visualiser tool but it was clunky to use, and its imagery was not very realistic. Home designs were low-res and flat, and could not be customised or viewed from different angles. The old Visualiser also required the assistance of a developer to upload content so it was difficult to maintain. As a result, it was out of date and not reflective of the full range of products on offer.
This led to a situation where customers would have to go out with a map and drive around to view projects that had been built with their chosen bricks to see what they would actually look like on a house. This created a disconnect in the customer journey, which increased the likelihood that they would go elsewhere to purchase their bricks.
What PGH needed was a way to provide home builders with a Visualiser tool that would be realistic enough to give them the confidence to select a product without physically seeing it on a house.
What we did
The starting point was to examine the state of play in the field of online customisation. While there were a number of tools on the market, they all had interfaces that were clunky and complex, and none worked particularly smoothly across different devices.
Enter the new PGH Brick Visualiser… a responsive, content-managed app, featuring realistic real-time 3D rendering, with virtual reality capability.
The quality of the imagery – based on WebGL technology – is now extremely realistic, giving users far greater confidence in making their selection. And for those who want to have an even more immersive experience, the Visualiser tool is supported by WebVR, which makes it possible to experience virtual reality from within a browser. In VR mode, the user can view the house from all different angles simply by moving their head around.
Within the Visualiser, users can customise bricks – including the style of brick, bond pattern and mortar colour – as well as other features such as roofs, guttering fascias, garage doors, pavers and feature walls. They can also generate a PDF containing product information, product availability, details of their local Selection Centre, and a custom moodboard.
The Visualiser is also integrated with Pinterest and Instagram, so users can share their custom design with others who they may want to collaborate with on the project – or simply to show it off to friends! A unique code and URL are generated for each design, which not only makes social sharing a breeze, but also allows the user to share their design easily across different devices.
A clever use of technology to help users visualise bricks and finishes on various homes, the app has had a demonstrable impact since launch, driving user engagement. Neat and intuitive navigation, stunning visuals, confident typography, and great that it can all seamlessly run in the browser. This is a useful complement to the sales process and will have significant impact on user-engagement and overall sales. A really compelling and interesting way to browse the multitude of options available right down to mortar colour – and it works a dream on a tablet! Well done.
The new Visualiser has provided PGH with an easy-to-update tool that streamlines the brick selection process, provides a better connection between the online and offline experience, and maximises the opportunity to keep customers within the PGH environment. Calls to action – such as ‘Visit a Selection Centre’ or ‘Request a Callback’ also help to keep the customer within the PGH sales funnel, thereby maximising conversions.
Unlike most of the existing customisation tools, the Visualiser exists within PGH’s Sitecore website, so there is no visual or functional disconnect with the ‘main’ site. It is also completely content-managed so PGH no longer has to rely on developers to make updates. This has given the Visualiser the flexibility to continue to be a critical sales tool as the brand’s product range changes and expands.
We came to Luminary with a challenge to not only build an incredible tool but something that can be easily maintained and developed for our ever-changing future needs. In an industry where our competitors are all doing a similar job, Luminary has built something that really does make us stand out from the pack. Incorporating functionality, usability, cutting edge technology and that ‘WOW’ factor. Working with the team at Luminary across the whole process has been a fantastic experience.
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