Testing the different tent models in the store may be a problem due to space constraints. This is why virtual reality (VR) appears to be particularly useful for the sale of this kind of product. Thanks to a headset developed by Valtech, Decathlon is now giving customers the possibility to test its Quechua tents in a virtual setting of their choice, selecting images of mountains, forests and deserts. Customers can also change lighting conditions and choose between rainy and windy conditions.

The system developed by Valtech, an international agency with more than 2,200 collaborators in 16 countries, also allows Decathlon to save space in the store for the presentation of its numerous tent models and to make less use of its sales staff.

Decathlon has 1,176 stores around the world, and its private label of outdoor products, Quechua, is a leader in the European market. About 50 Decathlon stores in nearly ten countries, including 30 in France, will be offering customers a virtual reality experience to test Quechua tents in the course of next year, says Cédric Brun, who is running this project for Quechua, indicating that the company has not yet decided in which countries it will be offered.

Valtech's VR system was first introduced by Decathlon on an experimental basis last May. It is currently available for testing 14 models of Quechua tents in 13 Decathlon stores across France, but it will make use next year of a more sophisticated solution, which is still being developed in partnership with Valtech.

The 13 locations in France where the system is used are: Bouliac, Limonest, Saint-Etienne, Annemasse, Saint-Herblain, Bron, Sequedin Englos, Bordeaux, Blagnac, Paris 15th, Paris Wagram, Villeneuve d'Ascq, and Val Thoiry.

Based on a survey conducted in the 13 stores that currently offer this solution, more than 95 percent of the customers who have already made use of it would recommend it to others as a new shopping experience, says Decathlon