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How to Make An Impact in eCommerce: Don't Be the Gorilla

Most people would say that they are generally well aware of what is happening in their surroundings. If something were to change; they would notice it. This may be true in some instances, but with the vast amount of information and stimuli that we are hit with every day, it is easy for things to get lost in the noise.


In an experiment that has now become known as the Invisible Gorilla Experiment, this lack of awareness was very apparent. Researchers instructed participants to watch a video of a basketball game, and count how many times the team in white shirts passed the ball. Halfway through the video, a gorilla walks through the court, pounds his chest, and then exits. Seems like a pretty noticeable occurrence, right? Despite the oddity of a gorilla on a basketball court, more than 50% of participants did not notice the gorilla, and were quite surprised when they were told that they had missed him.


The human brain can accomplish a lot, but it does so by filtering out a lot of information that it deems unnecessary. From a brand’s perspective, becoming a part of the unnecessary noise is a worst case scenario when trying to compete in a crowded market. 


So how can brands avoid becoming the gorilla in the room and instead be the basketball? The key is to earn and maintain the customer’s attention by consistently delivering the necessary information and context to make a decision. Let’s start with earning the attention.


The average American spends up to 12 hours a day on digital devices; for many people that is ¾ of their day. But all of that time spent does not translate into an easy opportunity to grab attention. Work, social media, news, games, text messages, emails, and various rabbit holes reached through a seemingly single click eat away at a viewer’s attention, often overlapping one another and further diminishing the attention granted to a single item. Even if the buyer’s full attention is dedicated to a product search, your brand can become the gorilla, lost in a busy flurry of competing messages. To be the basketball, you have to capture the buyer’s attention as a member of the consideration set (in our example this could be the players), and then maintain their attention with an active experience that drives their focus (the ball). 


Let’s look at a brand example. I am searching for a new guitar. I have a pretty good idea of what I want, but I have only been searching when I have time (between emails, news, and Instagram). Since I have initiated a search, I am regularly targeted with ads for guitars, and I have even clicked on a few, noting them for when I am ready to buy. 


The value of a guitar is largely driven by the quality of sounds it produces, but it is fair to say that most guitarists also want theirs to look cool, so when I am searching, appearance will be a key factor in my decision process.

Website product Visualization and configuration ATLATLNow that I have a consideration set and my attention is focused on the product category, which option becomes the basketball? Brands could leave it up to luck, or they can create an active, engaging experience where my attention is hyper focused on exactly what I am looking for. To achieve the latter, we turn to web based product visualizers and 3D product configuration


product configurator for websites, 3D commerce 3D product configurator

Product visualization and configuration go beyond using appealing visuals and create a hands on experience that mimics the sense of product exploration and evaluation that a customer would have in store. Product visualizers allow buyers to view a detailed, high fidelity rendering of the product from the comfort of their own device. Instead of being limited to the angles captured at a traditional photo or video shoot, the product can be viewed from all angles and zoomed to appreciate the details that make the product special (check out those awesome frets).


For brands that offer customization, 3D product configurators bring the buyer into the design process, providing high fidelity, up close looks at their purchase. Website product configurators also allow buyers to add additional features and complementary products and see how they will appear and work with the original product.  


These active experiences hold a buyer’s attention and drive more conversions than passive purchases experiences. Research shows that content that actively engages a buyer leads to a conversion 70% of the time, as compared to 36% for passive experiences. Delivering an active shopping experience holds and focuses a shopper’s attention on your brand, making you the basketball, not the gorilla.


Ready to rock on? Explore our guitar configurator demo today and join the ATLATL band! 


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