Dimensional Innovations (DI) partnered with Cabela’s for the opening of their newest location in Albuquerque, New Mexico. With the new location having significantly smaller square footage, Cabela’s needed a retail-focused and engaging solution that would allow them to showcase their larger products without taking up valuable floor space. DI outfitted the store with three custom interactive “Trailhead” kiosks—one trailhead per section: camping, hunting, and fishing—and three virtual reality (VR) headsets.
Nominating Company: Dimensional Innovations, Overland Park, Kansas
Venue: Cabela’s Retail Store Experience, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Project: Cabela’s Retail Store Experience
Category: Retail Environments
Cabela’s came to DI looking for a custom solution to enhance their retail experience. They were looking for a high-tech experience that would lend itself to a large audience and their brand-invested customers. The answer was to create three singular “trailheads” in their camping, hunting and fishing sections.
All three trailheads double as signage and designate the areas of the store, providing easy-to-jump-into experiences. Each trailhead features shared content and custom content unique to each section of the store, including an interactive map with local hunting, fishing, hiking and camping locations as well as a “brag board” showcasing local social media posts. All content can be viewed on the 75-inch touchscreen kiosk or through the virtual reality headset.
DI produced the content for each individual product showcased in the trailheads as well as the interactive maps and professional video demos to create the ultimate retail experience for the customer.
This new Cabela’s retail location has a smaller footprint than most, so it was important that DI designed something that took up minimal floor space while still providing maximum impact for their customers.
When developing the trailheads, the app development played a major role in the functionality and overall user experience. DI custom-developed two programs to develop the app: one Unity-based and the other a Web App. Marrying 360 and Web App together to create the overall program was a challenge when integrating the content from an interface standpoint to make it easily accessible for users.
Lastly, the challenges of doing virtual reality in a retail environment, where thousands of users would be wearing the same headset, came with sanitary challenges and maintenance issues.
Due to the smaller size of the store, DI’s solution was to create trailheads that took up vertical space rather than horizontal. Each trailhead is 14 feet tall by 3.5 feet wide. This solution also created highlyvisible, custom wayfinding throughout the store.
Testing interfaces with the design process was crucial when developing the apps used in the trailheads. After trial and error testing, DI’s team found the best option for the software to work properly and improved the functionality for its users.
To find a solution for maintaining VR headset sanitation, DI worked with the Cabela’s staff to train them how to use, clean and store the headsets. The headsets do have replaceable pads that can be sterilized and re-ordered when needed. DI also created a “Press for Attendant” feature, integrated with Cabela’s in-store employee notification system, allowing customers to call trained employees to help with VR issues.
The interactive trailheads bring a unique value to the Cabela’s retail experience. As sources of valuable information, the trailheads are easily accessible to customers and have them engaging with the Cabela’s brand like never before.
The trailheads encourage product discovery. Customers can search through more than 50 different items to get a closer look before making their decision. Education plays a major role in the success of the trailheads and customers are now leaving the store better informed.
“Imagine standing in a store, wearing a VR headset and experiencing something as exciting as a 360-degree, white-knuckled float following an Alaska moose hunt, to something as simple as learning how to set up a tent you could pick up right down the aisle,” said Cabela’s Senior Manager of Commercialization Brandon Beck. “There is a lot of room to grow on this idea, so it’s rewarding to begin sharing it with our customers.”