There is a reason that the phrase “bought sight unseen” will send chills up more than a few people’s spines. Images and sometimes memories of products, gadgets, even properties purchased without visual confirmation of appearance or functionality are the stuff headaches are made of.
The greatest advantage of buying in person is the ability to see, touch and experience a product for yourself; after all, 90% of the information processed by the brain is visual. The greatest disadvantage? Having to go to the store. This is especially true if you are buying a specialized product or a particular model that is offered only in select locations. For better or worse, most consumers have come to appreciate and prefer the convenience of shopping online and having products dropped at the doorstep. However, they aren’t willing to sacrifice an enjoyable or value driven shopping experience, and this is where brands must deliver.
Product imagery is by far the most important aspect of shopping online for the majority of consumers. 67% of consumers say that images are “very important” when shopping online, which makes sense, as most people are not able to conjure an accurate picture based on text alone. Peruse any commerce site and you will rarely come across a product listing without at least one photo; but is that photo enough? Probably not.
So What is Product Visualization?
Product Visualization brings those product photos to life online with high quality 3D imagery that accurately displays products and features in an immersive environment for buyers to explore and engage with the products they are shopping for. Where traditional photography and videography offer limited views of the products, product visualizers allow shoppers to turn, zoom, and edit product options that in many ways exceed even in-store experiences. This is particularly true for larger products that may not be kept on the store floor or in inventory. A bike may be offered in 50 colors, but it is unlikely that all 50 colors are available in store. A product visualizer allows a shopper online or in store to see what the bike will look like once it is painted the correct color.
In using a product visualizer on a brand’s site, buyers are able to take note of and appreciate the small details and features that may be missed in traditional product shots. Using 3D product visualizers also allows for a high quality view of the product even when zoomed in.
While traditional product photography is generally shot in high resolution, the image can become pixelated when zoomed in past a certain point. Due to the file size of large images, the original photos are often compressed before they are loaded onto the site, further degrading the image
when zoomed in. With product visualization software, the product models are built specifically to be able to explore and engage with the product at a high zoom level. As an added benefit, new colors and features can be added to the models as they become available, removing the need (and expense) for additional photo and video shoots to capture the updated product lines.
These models are also able to be used with augmented reality, delivering an even more immersive shopping experience for buyers. The ability to explore their desired product in detail and then see it in their home environment is an option that over 40% of buyers are not only looking for, but willing to pay more for.