E-commerce turns 20 this year (if you count it’s birth being the introduction of selling books and pizza delivery online), and I think we can all agree it’s is anything but a few years past “minor” status. E-commerce is an integral part of our lives, credit card bills, and doorsteps. Check out the following infographic for some of my favorite moments in e-commerce of the last two decades.
1991 – Swreg creates the first online merchant account for selling software. 1994 – First ecommerce transaction by NetMarket.
1994 – Online pizza ordering and delivery made available by PizzaHut 1994 – Amazon is born.
1994/1995 – The first third-party services for processing online credit card sales began to appear (i.e. First Virtual and CyberCash).
1995 – Verisign begins developing digital IDs, or certificates, that verify the identity of online businesses. Verisign later certified that a Web site’s e-commerce servers were properly encrypted and secure.
People always expect marketers to keep up with the latest trends. As a marketer myself, I’m introduced to new technologies and services almost daily, sometimes hourly. It can get overwhelming. Product marketing on ecommerce is an area with plenty of options for enhancing your optimization efforts. Will this type of advanced photography, an interactive 3D photography platform, help us marketers realize our conversion goals? What are the real, verifiable reasons behind why 3D photography makes sense for ecommerce? Let me explain.
1. It’s true-to-life
3D scanning and 3D photography techniques are true-to-shape, true-to-texture, and true-to-color. Basically, it’s the closest thing to holding the product in your little hot hands. Once the assets are captured in a 3D studio, they are developed and rendered for display on ecommerce product pages.
2. It looks cool
…but not cool as in it will disappear in a few years. Uniqueness and standing out from the competition go hand in hand, especially when that competition could be nearby, or hanging out in the next browser tab.
3. It’s interactive
Instead of just paging through a couple of flat photos like a dusty old photo album, shoppers are able to spin, drag, pan and zoom the product at will. Freedom is a beautiful thing.
4. It’s a quality, high-resolution experience
There’s no room on the internet for blurry or visibly pixelated images, especially in a store setting when every impression counts. With a flick of the scroll on your mouse, you’ll be able to zoom in to the item and check out even the most tiny of details on the item in stunning resolution.
5. You can show more features
A great pair of laces on a pair of shoes, but also a fun tread? A lovely hem on an outdoor coat that also has ornate detail embroidery on the lapel? With 3D, all features can be explored and discovered by shoppers at their leisure.
6. Customers will be delighted
Happy shoppers turn into happy customers. Experiential marketing is valuable not just for brick & mortar, but for online as well. In the age of over-stimulation and issues around market saturation, it’s more important than ever to create experiences that draw in and delight customers.
7. Sales will increase
Studies show that the more viewable you make a product online and the better you display the product, the more you make it rain…in other words, the more you convert online.
8. Item returns will decrease
Good product imagery on your site should help manage the expectation of what the customer will receive in the mail. That means there are fewer uncertainties in the buying process and therefore less returns after purchase.
9. Shoppers won’t be kept waiting for the page to load
Aside from being annoying for the customer, the data speaks for itself in terms of load time’s impact on conversion. A case study by Intuit found that each 1-second improvement in page load times yielded a 3% increase in conversion rates. So 3D objects need to load quickly and act nimbly on the page for the best shopper experience possible and most optimal conversions.
10. Shoppers can view the model on any browser, any device
That’s right, desktop, laptop, mobile, tablet, or any other new fangled thing out on the market right now will support a 3D-enabled product detail page.
11. You’ll know what your customers like most about the product
Rich behavioral analytics will not just back up your decision to 3-dimensionalize an ecommerce experience, but also help your product development teams determine features to include or not include in upcoming product designs. This includes heat mapping of the shoppers’ specific interactions with the product viewer.
12. It’s a full-service platform
3D interactive photography includes 3D scanning, 3D object optimization, ecommerce platform integration, and analytics.
13. You can keep your other assets on the page
It’s still valuable to have in-context photos and videos of the item being used, so this does not need to be a complete replacement for your product display strategy. If it ain’t broke, optimize it instead with additional content to show it off!
14. It’s as easy to add to a site as other commercial photography options
Send your product to the scanning laboratory and production studio for processing, and be notified when the 3D object is ready to be integrated into the site. 3D objects are easily integratable into any and all ecommerce platforms (like Magento, Demandware, Shopify, etc.). Leave it to the professionals to make the magic happen, and it’ll be smooth sailing thereafter.
Seattle, WA – May 13, 2014 – Seattle start-up 3D Product Imaging has proudly announced the next wave of online customer interaction with their patent-pending 3D scanning process and interactive online viewer. Designed to create a more engaging customer experience, 3D Product Imaging is the first to offer a high-quality, fully rotational, seamless 3D image for online retailers.
From their experience at Amazon’s product imaging department, 3D Product Imaging’s founders have observed firsthand that advanced viewing technology increases the time a customer spends on a product page, produces a higher conversion rate, and reduces product returns. “After years of research,” commented co-founder Darrick Morrison, “we have finally found a way to replicate the in-store purchase experience online by giving customers total control of their viewing experience.”
3D Product Imaging offers a full scanning-to-viewing solution, including a very lightweight, cross-browser, no plugins required, interactive image viewer at prices comparable to existing product 360-degree photography and demo videos. With built-in behavior tracking and heat mapping, 3D Product Imaging is able to capture rich data about how customers interact with a product.
This cutting-edge technology offers brands the opportunity to get ahead of the competition by being among the first to embrace this exciting new technology. The company is now preparing to launch this product in the hands of a few initial clients and are looking for more first movers. We invite you to learn more by reaching out to us at www.3dproductimaging.com or contacting our CEO, Darrick Morrison, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About 3D Product Imaging, Inc.
Established in 2013, 3D Product Imaging, Inc. is a Seattle-based startup revolutionizing the online product sales space. Pairing photo-realistic 3D product scanning with an interactive viewing experience, 3D Product Imaging offers online brands the ability to increase customer engagement to fuel greater conversions and reduce the number of product returns. From the 9Mile Labs accelerator, 3D Product Imaging is working closely with some of Seattle’s best entrepreneurial leaders. With experience from some of Seattle’s best startups including Amazon and Tableau, the founders are ready to hit the ground running, working with ecommerce brand partners to launch the technology on sites later this spring.