Brooklyn Solar Canopy | 3D Configurator

The Brooklyn Solar Canopy Co (BSCC) team has designed and manufactured canopy solar systems for the New York City residential market since 2015.

The patented, lightweight aluminum structure has proven to be an adaptable solution for a variety of other applications, allowing solar to fit into challenging places: backyards, parking lots, carports, yard pergolas, etc. 

As a result, In 2018 BSCC began offering their award-winning product to customers and solar installers all over the country.

The challenge

Brooklyn Solar Canopy originally used photos to showcase their products on their website. The photos were helpful for buyers to get a sense of the general design of their installation, but had some limitations

  • Buyers wanted to have a sense of how the solar installation would look on their homes, especially when placed on historic buildings, which is impossible with 2D images from other projects.
  • With 2D images only, buyers couldn’t interact with the product or personalize it to their own installation and property needs, a key barrier for new product types.

The Brooklyn Solar Canopy Co. therefore wanted to give consumers the ability to:

  • Interact with the product to familiarize themselves with the technology.
  • Customize their own specific design and provide a virtual overview of what the panel would look like on their home

The solution: an interactive 3D Configurator

Our partner, Tapmod, developed a 3D Configurator using the Sketchfab Viewer API and Brooklyn Solar Canopy’s existing 3D models. Try it here.

The 3D Configurator allows users to personalize almost every element to design their own canopy: orientation, size, color... Providing a clear sense of the canopy’s components, design parameters, and constraints.

Online shoppers can now interact with their personalized canopy – zoom in, zoom out, rotate, explore it in more detail and see the updated price of the installation as they configure.

The 3D configurator is primarily used on their website for prospective customers – solar installers, homeowners, and at trade shows to increase booth traffic.

The Sketchfab team is very attentive and willing to share their accumulated project knowledge and ideas to make our concept a reality. They don’t just sell a uniform product, but rather a set of capabilities that can be tailored to meet particular needs. The Sketchfab team was a great creative partner in helping us think through what was both possible and optimal for our project.

—Christopher Neidl, Director of Business Development at Brooklyn Solar Canopy

Resuts

Educates contractors and homeowners in a playful way

  • The user’s self-guided interaction with the configurator is a fun and intuitive experience that allows prospects to explore options and request proposals for specific designs.
  • The sales experience becomes an active process: people start the psychological journey of virtually owning something as they can interact with and create their own installation.
  • The configurator is an excellent marketing tool that draws in customers, builds trust and gives a clear sense of the product and its characteristics.

The configurator is an excellent design, sales and marketing tool. It draws in customers and gives them a very clear sense of what we offer, and builds excitement in really tactile way. And importantly, it does this before any actual humans on our small team have any direct contact. This reduces our burden.”

—Christopher Neidl, Director of Business Development at Brooklyn Solar Canopy

Powerfully helps sales and marketing teams

  • Simply by playing around with the configurator, lots of questions are automatically answered for the user – FAQ about size, color, and foundation options – that their small team would otherwise have to take the time to answer individually by email or phone.
  • It definitely accelerates the sales process as the first conversation with people starts at an advanced stage.

“The 3D Configurator is definitely accelerating the sales process, no doubt about it. Our first conversations with people start at a pretty advanced place now.”

—Christopher Neidl, Director of Business Development at Brooklyn Solar Canopy

Increase traffic at trade show: The Best “Booth” Prize winner

  • Brooklyn Solar Canopy launched its 3D Configurator in September at Solar Power International 2019 in Salt Lake City – the largest solar trade show in the world (4 days, 25k attendees). They hosted the 3D Configurator on a large interactive touch screen
  • Hundreds of people interacted with the 3D configurator. It was a massive draw and won a “best booth” prize from the convention

BSCC’s island booth at SPI 2019, Salt Lake City Convention Center

  • Brooklyn Solar Canopy Co. is a pioneering company because of the product they’ve brought to market and employing a 3D configurator only reinforces the innovative identity of the brand.

Nest steps

Brooklyn Solar Canopy is currently working with the Sketchfab team to build a separate “virtual installation manual” using the 3D configurator. 

This will allow installing crews to review detailed visual construction guides prior to installation, even on a tablet or iPad. “We don’t know of another product company in our space offering the same tool.”