Admit it, online shopping is a common guilty pleasure for most of us. Gone are the days of mail orders with several week lead times. Nowadays all it takes is a quick web search from your trusty pocket computer to find the best deal and you’ll be wearing those fancy new shoes the next day. This is all thanks to a massive backend shift in warehousing, fulfillment and logistic solutions to make it all possible. Considering the growth over the years, this newage format of shopping is quite clearly here to stay.
So when COVID-19 abruptly confined us all to our homes for an extended sanity check, customers shifted their focus to the only window which wasn’t housing teddy bears and began scrolling through web stores to get their shopping fix. It’s fair to say this only increases the number of customers becoming accustomed to purchasing online as we move into an era of social distancing.
The main point to realise here is that online shopping has quickly become the new norm and the biggest mall you will ever visit conveniently fits in your pocket.
As a product owner, it is imperative that you are showcasing your product in a way which facilitates and exploits the benefits of the online world. Traditionally, promotional material has been created through meticulous studio photo shoots which require product samples, human labour and expensive lighting setups. Over the past year or two we have seen the addition of photo-realistic, 3D visualisations being adopted as compelling and efficient alternatives due to their added benefits. We have listed 5 key points to how 3D visualisations are transforming the online shopping landscape and giving customers a more enriched experience:
VISUALISATIONS HELP EXPLAIN EXTRA DETAIL & VALUE PROPOSITION WHICH ARE IMPOSSIBLE WITH CONVENTIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY
Animations are commonly used to show off features within a product which cannot be immediately noticeable or understandable using traditional static imagery. Using motion, products can seamlessly come alive in ways which would simply be impossible to achieve in the real world.
Common examples of these aim to:
- Show how to assemble the product or break it down into separate parts with dynamic exploded views
- Illustrate internal mechanisms with cross sectional views or material transparencies
- Show intangible features such as lighting, waterproofing etc. by combining animations with visual effects
DIGITALLY SAVVY CUSTOMERS EXPECT TO BE WELL INFORMED ABOUT THEIR OPTIONS
Online stores are recognising this fact and provide it all on a platter for their customers to research and consider. Purchasing trends online shift away from the in-store experience – customers online have access to a plethora of external information from varying suppliers, reviews, social media and endorsements to inform them about the product. The age of the ‘prosumer’ is upon us, therefore it is important to enable all avenues of your sales channels with compelling and exciting content to stand out from the crowd.
360° PRODUCT IMAGERY IS BECOMING THE STANDARD ONLINE
A basic, yet powerful asset to have in your media arsenal is 360° imagery of the product. This technique is on the rise online, as it is extremely easy to achieve. It allows a customer to preview a product from all angles, allowing your customer to relate to the product virtually.
This method helps promote your product in a much more dynamic manner over traditional still images. Providing your web developer with individual frames allows them to integrate the imagery into websites in a variety of ways, such as tracking mouse movements to spin the object, or turning the product as you scroll down a page.
EXPLAIN HOW TO INSTALL A PRODUCT IN A COMPELLING AND INFORMATIVE WAY
Explaining how to install a product with still images can be a tricky task to achieve. One avenue where visualisation excels at is dynamically illustrating how a product is installed. Providing your customers or installers with clear instructions mitigates the risk of misunderstanding, errors, and added frustration.
Building an animation of your install process allows us to include additional details which is harder to convey in static images, such as using tools or depicting a context where the install will take place. This is particularly effective when combining some of the features mentioned in the first point, such as cross sections or transparency to further assist in explaining the install process.
Overlays can be added once the animation is completed such as descriptive text, logos etc. to bring the animation to its full potential.
COST EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT
Conventional photoshoots are complicated albeit retaining their place in your marketing plan. To get the perfect shot, it often takes a lengthy process of photography studios, expensive equipment and photo manipulation in order to get everything just right. Doing things digitally can be a much more efficient way to achieve the same result. Rendering software aims to replicate these photography studios, providing us with an infinite amount of lighting gear and scenarios to suit your product. Once this is set up, it is easily replicated for other products in your range or updates when they occur.
Having a good quality CAD model of your product is the single biggest advantage you can have to take advantage of these techniques. Often, product owners have these on file and they are underutilised once manufacturing has begun. If you have a product but no CAD model, we are able to assist in reverse engineering it for rendering purposes.
From there, your options are limitless – rendering enables you to explore all options in a highly controlled and repeatable environment. Common variations we see are new labels/designs on packaging, or showing several different colour options of a product.
With the adoption of 3D visualisations, product owners and online stores are able to unlock a new realm of online customer experience which takes full advantage of the shifting digital landscape.
Blender is in a perfect position to assist with your 3D visualisation needs with experience in both product development, 3D CAD, and digital media. Our team has access to market leading software and rendering networks for fully capable results and fast turn over. If you would like to discuss how to use 3D visualisations for your business, feel free to get in touch below.