Inside the outdoor industry

New Mountain Hardwear app augments retail offering

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Mountain Hardwear has launched a new app offering retailers the opportunity to show its equipment and apparel in augmented reality and is bringing it to the European market for the first time.

The initiative features equipment for Summer 2019, as well as technical apparel for Winter 2019, such as its Exposure/2 GORE-TEX collection – a partnership that puts Mountain Hardwear first to develop a user-friendly AR experience for outerwear.

The consumer AR app has already been launched in the US and plans are also underway to offer the app to European consumers.

Robert Wittman, North America Digital Marketing for W.L. Gore & Associates, said: “This is a unique opportunity for us to partner with Mountain Hardwear and continue to build our relationship on both the product and marketing fronts.

“The use of AR allows both brands to educate retailers on GORE-TEX technology and highlight the design benefits of Mountain Hardwear products in a new, visually exciting way.”

The team at Mountain Hardwear said it had identified several obstacles in the buying experience that kept customers from getting outside: limited time to spend in retail stores, difficulty of in-store setup, store availability, and guesswork about online assets.  

The firm worked with Transparent House, a creative agency based in San Francisco, California, to create the app.

“We believe technology is something that should be thoughtfully applied, not used because it is trendy,” says David Scott Van Woert, Director of Business Development, Mountain Hardwear. “The result is an app that is as enjoyable to look at as it is intuitive to use. But more importantly, it is an app that makes sense.”

Product renderings enable users to toggle easily between environments and features, for a more lifelike experience.

“We believe the ability to superimpose digital products and information on a user’s actual environment will change retail,” said Snow Burns, VP of Global Marketing at Mountain Hardwear. “We don’t see technology as contrary to getting outside, we see it as an opportunity to enhance the experience.”

The augmented reality app was first launched for both retailers and consumers in the US in January at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show, where it won a GearJunkie Best in Show Winter Gear Award.

“We have a finite amount of time in our busy days. And as climbers, we’d rather spend those waking moments enjoying what we love,” explained Jeff Brandon, Associate Director of Brand Deployment at Mountain Hardwear.

“This technology enables a more informed gear-shopping experience in a fraction of the time,”

Mountain Hardwear will continue to roll out additional assets to expand its virtual gear closet. Retailers can expect to download a fully-functional app later this year.

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