It’s time for businesses to get versed in the language of the visual, such as augmented reality (AR) and 3D, and leverage virtual experiences.
- Consumers pay more for products when shown 3D images of them
- Businesses are using 3D visualization to create interactive renders of products
- Brands like Baume and ROAM have already implemented the tech and many more will in the future
Back in the early 2000s, scientists at the California Institute of Technology showed students pictures of snacks and asked them to place a bet. Then, they put in real snacks and asked them to place another one. The researchers observed that the students bet more on real products.
And in 2010, the group concluded - “The Physical Presence of a Good Increases Willingness to Pay.”
The implication for economists was simple; consumers may pay more when shown a 3D visual of a product rather than an image.
Of course, the technology to create high-definition 3D product models hadn’t arrived in the 2010s. But e-commerce businesses were already seeing immense success with 2D product pictures.
Many brands irrevocably altered buyer habits with larger-than-life 2D visuals. And history is a testament to it.
- 93% of consumers consider visual content a key deciding factor in a purchase decision. Ebay Research Labs confirm the claim: sellers on Ebay with higher quality images tend to be more successful with inquiry conversion.
- 78% of shoppers surveyed now want photographs to ‘bring their favorite products to life.’
- A product photograph lures in more traffic (marketers say by as much as 87%), makes visitors linger longer on the platform or page, sets realistic expectations (which can reduce the scourge of returns by as much as 50%), elevates online visibility by boosting SEO and lifts share ability sharply.
Ten years later, we have the tech to create interactive 3D product images. But do customers still value them?
The signs are there to see
78% of shoppers surveyed now want photographs to ‘bring their favorite products to life.’
Moreover, 60% of online buyers would show greater interest in buying a product if the website displayed a 3D render.
Little surprise then that global brands like Nike and IKEA have integrated 3D products into their shopping journeys.
A peek behind the curtains: What is 3D visualization?
In the simplest of terms, 3D visualization involves creating digital simulations of products using sophisticated software. It is an extension of adding interactivity to online journeys through tech.
Once used in marketing campaigns, today, 3D visualization is now used by e-commerce businesses to capture customer eyeballs on product pages. Today, many brands are replacing high-definition product pictures with touch-responsive product renders to make the average buyer's journey an engaging one.
With a 3D visualizer, buyers can play around with the position orientation, contour, and color using these tools and simulate different product use cases. The cherry on top? Businesses have seen a lift in conversions by over 40%, thanks to the increase in buyer confidence through using this tool.
Enhancing 3D visuals with augmented reality
Although 3D visualization makes shopping engaging, it doesn't make buying immersive. Users still interact with products through devices, independent of their surroundings. Augmented reality changes that.
It allows shoppers to integrate their surroundings into shopping.
Thanks to AR tech, individuals can add virtual objects (images, text, audio, and video) onto their surroundings and view and interact with them through an AR-compatible device. This adds an extra layer of immersiveness to shopping, making it memorable and enjoyable.
71% of customers have even confessed that they would shop more if they could trial products in augmented reality.
Innovative uses of 3D tech in e-commerce
Baume, try before you buy
Baume introduced a 3D watch configurator on its website to allow its customers to create custom watches and try them on virtually before buying.
Customer's could use the tool to design a unique watch using Baume's extensive collection of virtual watch components. Then, they could visualize how their custom watch would look on their wrists with the AR- try-on tool and order it right from the website.
Through their 3D configurator, Baume created an engaging buyer journey, winning many shoppers.
ROAM luggage, 3D product visualizer
In 2020, customized luggage manufacturer ROAM introduced a 3D product customizer on their Shopify website. Their goal was to empower customers to customize their bags virtually.
Shoppers could use the tool and alter the product materials and configurations. They could choose from a range of front shell, back shell, and trim options on the website and create a custom luggage bag based on their tastes.
Roam's 3D product visualizer gave customers all the information they would need to buy a bag confidently. From color options to locks, customers could view it all before buying down to the inside of the bag and the monogram. So they made purchase decisions quicker. In turn, the brand increased its conversions.
By offering prospective adopters an up-close and granular look at objects from every dimension in advance, 3D technologies are helping businesses enter an exciting new phase of growth. And by letting users engage with the product near tangibly, these technologies are allowing businesses to raise their games even further.
Integrating 3D into the customer journey
Several global businesses have incorporated 3D product renders into their shopping experience. Unfortunately, some have done it the hard way by recruiting coders to create 3D models. But intelligent businesses have outsourced the job to companies like Enhance and seen excellent results.
Businesses can use Enhance’s services to create high-res 3D models of their product catalogs. Then, they can seamlessly integrate their models into their product pages through WebAR. Thanks to the tech, customers needn't download a separate app to view product projections. They can simply view interactive product renders on their mobile devices.
Customers will demand immersive buying experiences, and brands will go to lengths to provide them. To pacify their buyers that are demanding interactive shopping today, however, businesses are implementing 3D tech.
Shoppers can visualize products in incredible detail using technology and make better purchase decisions. This increases buyer confidence and consumer satisfaction too.