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Talking money and immersive tech

Talking Money and Immersive Tech: Realizing the Financial Benefits of 3D and AR in Manufacturing

Manufacturing company executives rarely question traditional marketing budgets for photography, catalogues, product videos, or trade fairs. Few can quantify the return on these investments, but the inertia of the status quo keeps them from innovating. They face two dangers: falling behind in the market to more innovative competitors and not being tech-ready for a new era of selling and buying.

The Shift to 3D and Augmented Reality

Top companies like IKEA, Home Depot, and Amazon have jumped at the opportunity to sell with 3D and Augmented Reality, going a step beyond traditional methods. The risks of the status quo can be very high for SMEs. This is a framework to evaluate this opportunity to innovate:

1. Cost of Visuals per SKU:

Photoshoot costs for furniture vary but tend to run to thousands of euros, particularly when transporting pieces to studios. 3D technologies can cut those costs by 50% or more. Once a 3D model is ready, photorealistic images become affordable and offer the agility to create new settings and images using just a computer.

2. Improved Conversion Rates:

Traditional conversion rates in furniture stand at 0.5% (compared to 2.25% for all industries). Using 3D and AR, Home Depot saw increases of up to 200%.

3. Impressive ROI:

UK sofa giant DFS reported a 22-fold return on their investment in 3D and AR.

4. Reduced Product Returns:

Product returns are costly and impact the whole supply chain, from manufacturers to distributors and retailers. Shopify reported that sellers saw a 40% decrease in product returns with 3D and AR.

5. Lower Shipping Costs:

The cost of shipping printed catalogues, materials, or even product samples to prospects is very high and inefficient. Visualizing items in 3D and AR can reduce those costs up to 50%.

6. Reduced Labor Costs:

Heads of sales and product invest a lot of time explaining complex product configurations or creating one-off photoshopped images for their clients. 3D configurations and AR save time and cut the cost of producing these materials to virtually zero.

A Call to Innovate

Today, the investment necessary to adopt 3D and AR for commerce starts at just a few hundred euros per month. To evaluate this investment opportunity, companies can create realistic scenarios using industry benchmarks. This is how executives can make informed decisions about the potential benefits.


Manufacturers must move beyond traditional marketing strategies to stay competitive and ready for a new era. Embracing 3D and AR offers measurable benefits, from cost savings to enhanced conversion rates and reduced product returns. Evaluating these technologies as part of your marketing strategy is not just innovative but essential for future success.

Sources: Markinblog, ARinsider, PRNewswire, Shopify

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