Challenges

To complement their premium brand and increase purchasing confidence for premium products, TVS needed to offer a more engaging experience for its young, technically savvy customer base.

TVS Motor Company is a company of firsts. The first two-seater moped in India. The first Indian company to deploy a catalytic converter in a 100cc motorcycle. The first connected scooter with features like call assistance and navigation. Being a company of firsts requires innovation and out-of-the- box thinking. Today, TVS Motor is turning to cutting-edge technology like augmented reality to deliver exceptional products and experiences.

The TVS Motor Company has always been at the forefront of innovation

Founded in 1911 by T.V. Sundaram Iyengar, TVS Motor Company is a reputed two-wheeler and three-wheeler manufacturer globally. They manufacture a wide variety of products, including motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, racing-inspired bikes, parts, and more. With three factories in India and one in Indonesia, they export to over 60 countries, selling over three million units annually and generating more than $2.9 billion dollars in revenue. With a proven record of product innovation, R&D, quality, and customer satisfaction, the TVS Motor brand is beloved by over 44 million customers worldwide.

 

Since its debut, the two-wheeler vehicle has been an integral part of daily life in India. It was most commonly used for utility purposes: commuting, running chores, and other daily activities. But India has changed dramatically over the last several decades, and so has the two-wheeler vehicle. An expanding middle class means that people start look at two-wheelers as a lifestyle product rather than a functional one.

“The way they describe their dream motorcycle, or dream vehicle, is changing,” says Meghashyam Dighole, the Associate Vice President and Head of Marketing Premium Business. “They want premium, lifestyle products now.” As a result, TVS Motor launched their high-end TVS Apache motorcycle brand in 2005. The Apache is a racing-inspired bike equipped with next-generation technology for superior performance, handling, and design. With more than four million customers worldwide, it comprises a significant portion of TVS Motor’s business.

TVS Motor sought to complement their premium brand with an improved purchasing experience

The Apache motorcycle has a young, technically savvy customer base. When these customers buy premium products, they expect the latest features, cutting-edge designs, and a compelling customer experience. To meet these expectations and increase purchasing confidence for premium products, TVS Motor needed to offer a more engaging customer experience.

“Our customer base is consuming lots of information through their phones and computers, and they always expect an outstanding experience,” says Meghashyam. “That’s why we always need to be ahead of the competition: to meet their ever-increasing needs and provide better experiences.”

TVS Motor knew that empowering its sales force was key to this mission. Their sales teams have to keep up with technical features as they’re added to products to provide customers with accurate, up-to-date information. Enabling sales teams to deliver a consistent brand story through meaningful and knowledgeable conversations with customers required TVS Motor to better equip and train their sales force.

TVS Motor leveraged Vuforia Engine to create a seamless augmented reality experience for their customers and sales teams

TVS Motor decided that augmented reality was the perfect technology to create a rich, interactive experience for their customers and empower their sales teams. As they planned their initiative, PTC quickly emerged as the partner of choice. PTC and TVS Motor have a longstanding relationship: as an R&D engineer many years ago, Meghashyam worked with Pro Engineering, the product now known as Creo. PTC’s suite of augmented reality technology was a natural extension of that partnership.

TVS Motor selected Vuforia Engine—the leading development software for creating powerful, photo-realistic augmented reality experiences—to use for their augmented reality application. They envisioned an application that would enable customers in the dealership to interact with the Apache motorcycles—clicking on parts to view details about key features, watching videos describing the technologies behind the latest innovations, and even changing the color options in real-time. TVS Motor also recognized the same augmented reality application in the hands of their sales teams would facilitate the knowledge transfer of complex subjects and enable them to tell consistent brand stories to customers.

60+ COUNTRIES WHERE PRODUCTS ARE SOLD
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3M UNITS SOLD ANNUALLY
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44M GLOBAL CUSTOMERS
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$2.9B ANNUAL REVENUE

Ultimately, the application created the opportunity to improve the customer experience and reduce sales cycles through sales efficiency and training. Together, an engaging experience and empowered sales force drive purchasing confidence whenever customers step into the dealership.

TVS Motor created a seamless customer experience

Now, salespeople use tablets and mobile devices to provide a rich augmented reality experience on the show floor. Unique capabilities like Model Targets, a powerful functionality that offers a seamless experience between digital and real-world objects, make TVS Motor’s application possible. Model Targets tracks specific real-world models using 3D CAD information—in this case, the sleek new Apache motorcycles on the shop floor. Once the user’s camera has a model in view, the application locks onto it and provides augmented visuals, information about features, audio and video content, and more.

“Model Targets are amazing,” says Meghashyam. “For developers who don’t have experience correlating 3D graphics with the actual product, it feels like a miracle.”

The application interface is presented compellingly and interactively, driving customer engagement with the product. Customers can walk around the motorcycle, clicking on feature highlights and reading about all of the next-generation technology they’d be purchasing. If a particular model or product isn’t available on the show floor, Ground Plane functionality renders a -3D model of the Apache motorcycle in the room. The motorcycle appears life-size on the screen, so customers can walk around the 3D model and explore it at scale.

Customers can even customize color options and other features directly in the application, giving them more control over the purchasing process. And if a customer doesn’t want to come into the showroom—or can’t, due to disruptions like COVID-19—they can view the product from the comfort of their own homes, offices, or wherever they happen to be. The TVS ARIVE app takes this up a notch, further allowing the customer to book a test ride, locate a dealer, or complete their purchase experience by booking a vehicle online. “It’s a delightful customer experience to be able to visualize a product in front of them and interact with it,” says Meghashyam.

The application empowers sales teams to tell a consistent brand story and accelerates knowledge transfer

Not only did TVS Motor build a compelling customer experience, they created a critical tool for their sales force to learn about new features and communicate a consistent story to customers. When there are product upgrades to the Apache, all the information is updated in the application.

This cuts down on the amount of training necessary for every salesperson and makes sales teams far more effective. With vast amounts of information at their fingertips, no knowledge is lost between the salesperson and the customer.

The ability to access accurate technical information and customize bikes in real-time, paired with a knowledgeable salesperson, significantly increases purchasing confidence for customers. It also reduces the burden on salespeople, who have to maintain high energy levels for multiple customers a day. “The application has multiple advantages to us and helps the salespeople in major ways,” says Meghashyam. “It helps with sales fatigue. If a salesperson is making four sales a day, by the fourth customer, they will be tired and potentially not able to remember every single feature. This way, there is less burden on the salesperson, making it easier for them to be active and engaged throughout the process.”

“Model Targets are amazing. For developers who don’t have experience correlating 3D graphics with the actual product, it feels like a miracle.”
Meghashyam Dighole
Associate Vice President and Head of Marketing Premium Business

 

TVS Motor improved the customer experience and decreased sales cycles

The reactions to the application have been highly positive. TVS Motor succeeded in creating rich customer purchasing experiences to complement their premium Apache brand. “So far, we have experienced extreme delight with our users. It’s hard for people to believe that such amazing technology is even available and that these experiences can be shared,” says Meghashyam.

While rollout is still ongoing, TVS Motor established a range of metrics and KPIs to measure their success. TVS Motor is tracking how customers interact with the app and if engagement leads to bookings. They expect customer satisfaction ratings to go up by 10%, as well as increased sales growth. “We’re targeting 10 – 15% sales growth coming out of this effort, which will be significant,” says Meghashyam. TVS Motor also anticipates the application will fuel effective digital marketing efforts. They’ll compare the conversion rate of traditional digital tools with the new, interactive experiences, with an expected increase between 10 – 20%.

This is just the beginning of TVS Motor’s foray into augmented reality. The first step on their roadmap is adding more customization features in the application, such as changing the engine’s sound. They plan to expand the application’s reach and deploy it for product lines beyond the Apache and eventually expand into international markets. “We’re excited about the impacts of the application,” says Meghashyam. “We have huge plans for using Vuforia.”

“So far, we have experienced extreme delight with our users. It’s hard for people to believe that such amazing technology is even available and that these experiences can be shared.”
Meghashyam Dighole
Associate Vice President and Head of Marketing Premium Business