How ANKER’s customers can find the perfect carpet with just a few clicks.
Did you know that magic carpets really exist?
ANKER Gebr. Schoeller GmbH + Co. KG, based in Düren in North Rhine-Westphalia, produces high-quality carpets for use in planes, offices, hotels, public buildings and healthcare buildings. The family company has existed since 1854 and is one of the oldest carpet manufacturers in Germany. Today, ANKER develops versatile carpets in collaboration with international architects and room design experts for customers all over the world.
ANKER commissioned RenderThat to improve its digital product visualization and bring it up to date with the latest technological developments. The aim was to present the numerous types of carpets as clearly as possible and make it easier for the customer to make a decision. Previously.
ANKER’s digital product presentation had quickly reached its limits, due to their large number of models, the different features and the many different operational area options.
Customers could either look at the models in the product finder on their website or look through classic print brochures. In both of these cases, the carpets could only be presented in a limited way.
The selection of the right model required a lot of imagination and relied on the – naturally costly – shipping of samples.
By working with RenderThat, ANKER hoped for several advantages:
● Less effort for them in preparing and integrating new models
● A higher quality of product visualization
● Individual presentation of the carpets in their respective environments
● User-friendly interface and the possibility of interactive selections
● Simplification of the selection process and purchase decision
With much of the competition in the carpeting market also starting to implement digital visualization options, the need for a high-performance solution was evident.
From the very first discussions with ANKER, RenderThat started developing a carpet configurator for their website. This configurator should show the customer the respective carpet models directly in their desired environment and therefore, improve the product presentation. With just a few clicks, it should be possible to display the carpet the customer wants in the “Office”, “Rehabilitation”, “Bank” and “Hotel” environments. Working closely with ANKER, RenderThat first made a selection of the models for the configurator.
The various selection criteria and characteristics of the carpets in the configurator were also created in close discussions with the client. This included colours, patterns, shapes, surface structures and sound insulation.
The main focus was on maximum user friendliness and the most realistic representation of the carpets in the configurator. Menu navigation and selection options have been kept simple – with one click the customer can easily switch between “Product” and “Room” to view their assembled carpet in their desired environment. For each of the 4 environments, 3 static 3D scenes were created, which provide the customer with a realistic picture of what the carpet would look like in the chosen environment. Additionally, the configurator developed by RenderThat offers a 3D 360° view. Where the customer can take the position of a person standing in the middle of the room. The customer can switch between the different carpet models with a click of the mouse.
As with previous projects, the amount of renderings was a particular challenge in the case of ANKER:
After the selection of carpets for the configurator had been made, RenderThat generated the digital images on the computer. For each model, the team had to consider all properties including
colour, pattern and structure – this resulted in almost 400 carpets. The 4 camera modes (Top View, Main View, Close Up and 360°) resulted in 4 images per carpet model. Every model can be used in every scene, as RenderThat prepared the scenes in a way that as many synergies as possible are used. RenderThat carried out a thorough colour proofing for a particularly realistic product visualization. Using the most common colours (these were provided in advance as samples by ANKER), the team defined the exact colour settings for the respective scenes. With the help of a HDR reference monitor and a light booth, daylight, studio light and shop light were simulated. After a few tests, the right colours were determined.
For the cooperation with ANKER, RenderThat expanded its render server. This forms the basis for efficient digital product visualization in the configurator. The content for the configurator was rendered in such a way that three different layers were created:
1. Light and shadow
2. Interior without the carpet
3. The carpet
The render server was set using an individual script and then rendered all 1600 scenes in one go. This infrastructure enables future models to be digitized quickly and automatically integrated into the configurator. The configurator puts the 3 levels together within milliseconds and visualizes the settings selected by the customer in real time. For a smooth 360° view, RenderThat had to find the right resolution and set the camera specifically for an all-round view.
RenderThat successfully implemented the clients request for a user-friendly carpet configurator. The configurator is an easy to use interactive experience. In combination with the detailed digital images of the carpets by RenderThat, ANKER now offers its customers significantly improved product visualization. The configurator is a valuable addition to ANKER’s customer service and a big improvement to the previous product finder. As a digital marketing tool, it is closely linked to both. Customers can now switch from the product finder to the configurator with one click, display the corresponding carpet and order it directly. The improved product presentation accelerates the customer’s decisionmaking process and ultimately ensures more sales. In contrast to the competition, the configurator occupies a central spot on the ANKER website. Quickly exchanging the models, the 360° view and the generally smooth performance, the solutions were received very positively from the beginning.
ANKER was very satisfied with the result and received a lot of praise from its customers for the configurator. RenderThat and ANKER are continuously developing the configurator together. The integration of more carpets and new interiors are planned. Additional refinements in the selection menus are also being considered. Our render server, which was specifically expanded for this project, is also far from finished. Currently, RenderThat is developing new infrastructure so that the server can be used for other larger projects in the future.
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