Top Tips from Shopify, Google and Walmart
3D and Augmented Reality (AR) models for ecommerce are quickly becoming mainstream for today’s leading brands. These new technologies are driving significant improvements in ROI for brands of all sizes –increasing conversion rates by up to 94%, and increasing ecommerce cart size by a whopping 61%. 3D and AR product viewers and product configurators are changing the way customers shop online and allowing them to interact with products in new ways that better match their buying needs and preferences. This technology is being used not just on online shops and in ads but through social media platforms as well. Product try-on is quickly becoming one of the top ways to leverage 3D and AR to scale your business’s ecommerce strategy.
All of the major social platforms and leading brands are investing heavily in 3D. SnapChat has become one of the top social media platforms using this technology today. Recently, SnapChat did a case study where shoe try-ons increased conversion by 94%. At VNTANA, we teamed up with Keen to create our own Shoe Try-On Experience for SnapChat. Once you have a 3D file — either by designing in 3D or through photogrammetry or 3D scanning — VNTANA automatically optimizes and converts the files to go on social, e-Commerce shops (like Shopify) and much more. Our automation helps files to not only load faster, but they can also be shared throughout your organization much easier to improve collaboration and reduce the amount time typically associated with sharing and optimizing 3D assets for use outside of manufacturing. Augmented reality is built into our platform as well and even works on social media platforms like SnapChat, Facebook and Instagram. 3D works well for B2B applications also, helping to save time and money by replacing physical samples with digital. This also reduces carbon footprint and increases speed to market.
From makeup try-ons to shoe try-ons and everything in between, 3D and augmented reality are helping to deepen customer interactions. We spoke to Ipshita Biswas from Google, who has invested billions in enabling 3D at scale. Google has seen similar metrics to Snapchat, with their own 3D case studies. A popular french beauty brand used 3D Google ads and saw:
- 17 point increase in purchase intent
- 3x increase in engagement
- 34% increase in exposure time
Google is now expanding their 3D offering to include AR right from the search tab so customers can have try-on experiences without ever leaving the search page.
Wal-Mart is another major player who has been implementing 3D at scale for their vendors. Cynthia Maller, the head of CGI for Wal-Mart, has helped expedite this shift within the company by ensuring existing teams are trained on the new technology and everyone within the organization has access to the 3D files.
How to scale your ecommerce business with 3D
Maller advises business owners to think long term when first implementing 3D into your business strategy. This is a design that will be able to be used for years to come rather than just once. Long term, this significantly reduces costs. Using 3D products for product photography also gives more flexibility and time as there is no longer a set that needs to be used and recreated if the shots do not come out right.
With digital samples there is no longer the worry of samples coming in that are missing pieces, arriving broken or arriving separately. When using 3D, businesses are no longer limited by these sample problems. 3D is much more efficient and helps increase speed to market helping with brand trust and loyalty. 3D products can also be placed anywhere virtually, whether it is a digital showroom, a house mock up, the great outdoors or anywhere else. The sky’s the limit.
Shopify has also invested in empowering all of its 1.7 million store owners to harness the power of 3D and AR. Jon Wade, Senior Product Manager at Shopify, has helped build 3D and augmented reality into their platform. It is as easy as dragging and dropping your 3D files into their platform. 3D and augmented reality gives customers the experiences they crave while allowing them to see and experience the products in their real world space. Shopify has a great partner network that can help with everything from getting your product made to implementing your strategy. We are happy to say that VNTANA is one of those partners helping to bring this great technology to you and helping stores increase sales, brand awareness and so much more.
As a marketing or merchandising specialist, what will be your first steps to scale 3D?
At the moment, not every business is set up with the internal capabilities to launch 3D designs and products. While long-term it is great to have a 3D expert on your content team, it is best to find 3D expertise in a knowledgeable partner. Companies like VNTANA can help with everything in the 3D process from initial designs to actually implementing those designs in e-Commerce stores, ads, social media and much more. Using partners or 3D agencies can not only help business owners keep up with current 3D and augmented reality trends, but can also help increase speed to market. Using partners also allows brands to experiment first and prove value in 3D before making long term investments in full-time employees. Many platforms like Google and Shopify offer partner networks to help companies get started quickly.
What You Need to Get Started with 3D Ecommerce Today
The most obvious answer to this question is a 3D model but where people get it wrong is thinking they need multiple 3D assets to begin. All that is needed to begin is one 3D asset. The key in getting the most out of that asset is identifying which products will be good for 3D and/or augmented reality. Finding out what models and renders well is key. Remember that these assets are also reusable and can be used time and time again whereas with a physical sample this becomes impossible with the natural wear and tear of the item. Some great examples are apparel and footwear. These products can be shown in multiple colors or textures and the customer can really get a feel for each piece. Cars are another great example. At the moment creating the inside of a car would be an incredible feat when it comes to file sizes. It would be too large, but imagine being able to show a customer what the car will look like in their driveway before they even have to step into the dealership. The customers can make their purchase decision before heading to the dealership, saving everyone time and guaranteeing more sales.
How do we get this great technology available to the masses and allow business owners at every level big or small the capability to use this technology?
For one, there needs to be more awareness surrounding 3D and what it is doing for businesses. Many platforms such as Google and Shopify can help. Again they have partner programs, that VNTANA is a part of, that can help the process from beginning to end. Google Web Designer even has 3D templates that can now be used in their platform! We here at VNTANA have many video tutorials showing how to use 3D software, how to get started and so much more available on our YouTube. Education is always key. For business owners, make sure you let the experts take care of the technicalities. For the 3D partners working with businesses, make sure you have a great onboarding process and are looking to find a balance in the technical language you are using with business owners. For many of them, this is their first time using 3D and augmented reality and there may be a learning curve when it comes to technical language.
Common Pitfalls and Challenges to Avoid in 3D Ecommerce
Not every product will be a good fit for 3D and augmented reality. For example, if the size of a product is important to a customer, then it is a great fit for AR such as purses or furniture. Remembering practicalities and what is capable of your products is key. If you know you will be implementing this as a business strategy ahead of time, you can build 3D and augmented reality into your product development plan from the beginning. Most of the time 3D is an afterthought and in doing so the 3D renders do not have the capabilities or look as realistic as they could in order to give the customer the breathtaking experience they should have. Some other pitfalls are creating 3D products whose file sizes are too large. This is a common problem. VNTANA is working diligently to solve this problem. We automatically optimize the 3D files with little to no loss in fidelity, while creating the asset in every file type you will need for all of the various platforms so you can build once and use everywhere. With VNTANA files can be organized and shared in minutes with everyone in your organization or with any partners or designers you will be using to create the assets.
How VNTANA Can Help
Here at VNTANA we are doing everything we can to democratize 3D commerce and augmented reality. Our motto is One Platform, Every Channel, Fully Automated. We can not only help with the initial digital product creation but from there we also automatically optimize the files as well as distribute them through API’s to any endpoint. We are helping businesses accomplish in minutes what used to take days or even weeks. No more worrying if your files will be compatible with the various platforms, we create all of the various file types for every platform automatically. We make it easy so you can focus on getting sales and we focus on getting the work done quickly and efficiently. If you have questions or would like to speak with one of our 3D experts contact us to get started today.