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What Is The ROI of 3D Configuration?

Investing in 3D visualization and configuration is an exciting step for a brand to take, but before you build there are often questions about what the real value of a product visualizer or 3D configurator will really be for the firm. What are the proof points that show how 3D and augmented reality will positively impact the bottom line?

 

Research has shown that a better customer experience leads to higher conversion rates, fewer returns, and a higher customer lifetime value. Better yet, the impact on these metrics is not nominal. We took a look at the numbers that are driving value for brands and how 3D configuration and AR can drive bigger impacts in 2021 and beyond. 

 

3D Configuration Drives Higher Conversion Rates

For most firms, sales are the most significant measure of success, and getting more sales is a daily conversation as more competitors enter markets and compete for consumer attention. Once a brand has earned a consumer’s attention, they need to be able to convey exactly what their product fits their needs if they are going to convert them. One of the best tools for driving higher conversions is including an interactive or immersive element within the shopping experience. 3D visualization, product configurators, and augmented reality are among the most in demand of these elements, with up to 90% of consumers surveyed by Adobe indicating a desire to be able to view products in 360° or 3D.  60% of consumers have indicated that they want to be able to see products specifically in 3D or AR, and they are willing to pay up to 20% more for those products. Whether your product comes in a single style or offers hundreds of options, the ability to view the products in 3D spaces promises significant returns.

 

So what kind of return can brands expect to see from the addition of 3D configuration or augmented reality? Recent studies have shown that brands have driven up to 40% higher conversions from products enabled with 3D or AR. 

 

Product Clarity Drives Fewer Returns

Few things make for a worse shopping experience than ordering something online, waiting for it to arrive, and opening your door to find something that does not match the picture in your head. This is why ecommerce averages a 20-30% return rate, more than double that of brick and mortar. According to a study by Navar, ecommerce returns grew 70% during 2020 as the volume of online purchases skyrocketed. For consumers, sending an item back is a hassle and a disappointment; for brands, it is a drain on resources, inventory, and profitability. 

sofa-configurator-demo

22% of consumers indicated that they have returned an item because the product did not match the picture online. This can be caused by a number of things, including poor image quality, limited angles displayed, or simply the experience in which the imagery was displayed. 3D configurators and AR experiences allow consumers to view products up close and personal, with high fidelity renderings that accurately portray what the item will look like when it arrives. By pairing AR with a 3D configurator, brands put the power in the buyer’s hands to not only select their exact options, but view their selections in scale in the environment of their choosing. No more question whether the picture matches the product, nor more upset customers, and an 80% reduction in online returns for brands who have implemented 3D configuration. 



3D Can Increase Average Cart Value

With higher consumer confidence in the products that they are purchasing comes an opportunity for brands to deliver additional value to the consumer and drive increased sales through cross selling or upselling. Interactive 3D not only provides shoppers with an accurate and detailed view of the product they are searching for, but allows them to see how accessories, additional features, or upgrades can enhance their purchase. 

 

Watch 3D Visualizer The act of configuring a product for purchase stimulates a sense of ownership,  as the buyer has chosen specific options to best fit their needs and desires. If they are presented with additional options that bring the product closer to their ideal, adding those options further customizes the item, and increases that sense of ownership. While they may have chosen to skip over accessories or not explore the upgrade options on a different page, their inclusion in a 3D configurator makes them highly accessible in a streamlined shopping experience, and more appealing when the buyer can see the value that they will add. 

 

And what is the value add for brands? Forbes found that brands utilizing 3D configuration saw a 30% increase in sales price. 



What is the ROI of a 3D Configurator?

Now that we know the top areas where 3D configuration can generate a return on investment, let’s look at an example of the math behind implementing a 3D configurator or AR experience, and the ROI that a brand could expect to see. 

 

How Much Does A 3D Configurator Cost?

The cost to build a 3D configurator will depend on the type of product and the number of and type of features and options to be included. 



Arrow Bikes is a high end DTC bike manufacturer that offers a select number of models that can be Best 3D configurator softwarecustomized to fit a rider’s specific needs, particularly in the area of design. Last year they sold 1,000 bikes at an average sales price of $2,950. Their bikes have received high praise from consumers, but they have received feedback that their current design format is not user friendly, and it is difficult to see some of the more detailed aspects of the design when shopping online. To ensure that they stayed ahead of the competition Arrow added a 3D configurator and AR experience to their website. This year’s sales numbers have come in, and the team at Arrow is excited to see how their growth was impacted by improving their shopping experience. 



Metric

Year 1

Year 2

(Actual)

Δ

Year 2

(with expected 20% growth, no config) 

Δ

Total Sales

$3,000,000

$7,194,460

+$4,194,460

$3,815,000

+$815,000

Avg Sales Price

$2,950

$3,835

+885

$2,950

--

Web Visitors

15,000

20,000

+5,000

18,000

+3,000

Sales Volume

1,000

1,876

+876

1,260

+260

Conversion Rate

6.7%

9.3%

+39%

7%

+.44%

Return Rate

9.5%

1.9%

-80%

8%

-11%



While Arrow expected to see growth in their second year driven by increased brand recognition and marketing efforts, the realized growth that they saw after adding 3D configuration and AR far exceeded their expectations, increasing not only their overall sales, but average sales price and decreasing returns by 80%. 

 

This year Arrow plans to expand into helmets, and will be using a product visualizer to allow their shoppers to have the same level of experience with their accessories as they do when building their bike. They have high expectations for next year’s sales figures. 

 

Want to see the growth that you could generate with 3D? Explore our 3D configurator demos and talk to one of our visual experts today. 




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