Life is lived in 3D, and yet much of the business we do today is done in 2D. In a market where the technology exists to bring the products we love to life online, why do we settle for a lesser customer experience?
The truth is, consumers are no longer ok with settling. Salesforce found that 88% of consumers expect brands to accelerate digital initiatives, and 51% indicated that brands are not keeping up with their increasing expectations. With countless options and stiff competition for consumer attention, falling behind on customer experience is a risk not worth taking for brands. To counteract that risk, many brands are turning to 3D to create immersive, interactive product experiences online.
A major roadblock for many brands trying to add 3D to their digital assets is understanding what can be built and how it will benefit their customers. 3D photography, 3D product visualizers, 3D website configurators, augmented reality - all tools that marketers have heard mentioned and hear the calls from consumers for, but how do you distinguish between them all? Let’s break them down.
3D Photography - 3D photography can refer to either a style of photography in which a 360 degree enabled camera is used to capture a space or a product, or in some cases is used interchangeably with the idea of a 3D product visualizer (we’ll get to that in a minute). 360 degree cameras have been used for creating virtual tours for a number of years, and are especially popular in real estate. While great for touring a space, 360 degree cameras face many of the same drawbacks as traditional photography when it comes to shooting products; namely, the views of the product available to the customer are limited to those visible when the shots were captured.
3D Product Visualizer - Comparatively, 3D product visualization offers consumers fully immersive views of products as it relies on 3D product models as opposed to still photos to create the interactive experience. Product visualizers can be used on ecommerce websites to showcase the product in an engaging way on the specific product page, or can be deployed across a wide variety of consumer touch points, including additional web pages, social media, advertising, and even in store displays.
3D Product Configurator - Sometimes called 3D customizers, 3D product configurators are built on the same technology as a product visualizer, and allow consumers to build and engage with customized products online. 3D configurators can be built in either an ecommerce setting or a more general online experience. Brands deploying 3D product configuration control the options available to consumers through easily managed backend selections, while shoppers get the value of a customized experience and product.
Augmented Reality - AR is no longer just for games, this immersive technology that places objects into a users’ real life setting has become a valuable and demanded shopping tool for ecommerce. A recent Harris Poll found that 60% of consumers are already looking for products to be viewable in 3D and AR, and they are willing to pay up to 20% more for that immersive experience. AR can be deployed on it’s own or paired with online product visualizers and configurators to complete a shopper’s custom experience.
The type of 3D solution that works best for a given company will depend on the product or experience they are looking to deliver, and in what type of digital space they will want to use it. For ecommerce, adding a 3D configurator has shown to drive a 30% increase in conversions, with a 50% decrease in returns when implementing 3D visuals on a website. The decisions between a product visualizer or a product configurator will rest on how much customization brands are able to offer their customers. If a brand has a single version of a product, then a product visualizer will deliver the immersive experience the customer is looking for without extra effort. If there is an opportunity to change colors, materials, or add additional features to a product, a 3D product configurator will drive more value for the brand and the customer. Adding AR to either solution creates customer confidence and excitement about the product they are looking to purchase.
The value of 3D is not limited to ecommerce, however. Firms looking to create an immersive experience without an ecommerce aspect can drive customer and brand value by demonstrating the features, benefits, and possibilities of their products or company in 3D. Product tours, consumer education, and company recruiting are just a few of the ways that a 3D experience can be leveraged for brand success.
To build a 3D web experience, companies can choose to build a solution from scratch, or they can choose to leverage 3D visualization software that integrates with their existing tools and platforms. Both options allow for customization to the firm’s exact needs, however building from scratch requires in-house or external experts skilled in web development, 3D design, and product art. Choosing to use a 3D platform allows companies to utilize the expertise of an existing software team and quickly and efficiently launch their 3D experience. ATLATL Visual provides companies with a team of artists and website experts skilled in crafting custom 3D experiences that drive impact. Our web based solutions easily integrate with all major ecommerce and CMS platforms to deliver a seamless experience across mobile, desktop, and other digital devices. Our high fidelity models mean that your visitors will have a crystal clear and accurate view of your products, while our streamlined delivery and maintenance approach means that you will save time and money in future enhancements and updates.
3D is quickly becoming the most demanded feature for ecommerce and digital experiences. Start your 3D journey today by exploring our visualization demo library, and see what we can create for you.