Article by By Ishita Paul at ecommercenext.org
Team eCommerce Next Interview with Ashley Crowder
Team eCommerce Next interviewed Ashley Crowder, co-founder and CEO from VNTANA to get more insights on 3D eCommerce. Following is our interview with her:
What is VNTANA and what does it do?
VNTANA is a SaaS platform that makes 3D eCommerce fast and easy at scale, which has proven to double conversion rates and increase cart size by 60%. The patented optimization algorithms in VNTANA’s 3D CMS allow brands like Hugo Boss, Deckers Brands, and Diesel to use their existing 3D models to instantly create high-fidelity, fast-loading 3D assets that are automatically optimized for use across the web, social media, advertising, game-engines and more. If a brand does not have 3D files, VNTANA can create models for them and then upload to the platform. Just like Vimeo and YouTube made it easy to share and embed video, VNTANA makes it easy for brands across fashion, footwear, furniture, tools, and more to share and embed 3D and AR for sales and marketing use.
What has been the evolution of VNTANA and its products/solutions?
We started VNTANA 9 years ago to help brands better engage with consumers. Back then, the web didn’t support 3D and phones weren’t capable of augmented reality, so we built location-based mixed reality experiences for brands like Adidas, Nike, and others. We realized no one had the right 3D models for game-engines, web, and AR, so we wrote software to automate the optimization, management, and distribution of 3D models in order to build these early metaverse experiences faster. In 2019, we decided to launch our software as a platform to allow other companies to easily create 3D web and AR experiences at scale.
How can brands utilize VNTANA’s platform to enhance their current digital marketing efforts?
3D experiences give consumers a better understanding of a product and are proven to increase conversion rate, increase average cart size and reduce returns. Plus, if you have a 3D model of your product, you can create 2D image and video renders, so you no longer need a photoshoot. This saves costs and speeds up time to market. Outside of eCommerce, brands can also create 3D and AR experiences on social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to engage consumers and drive traffic to their websites.
Game engines are another place that requires 3D models. Every brand needs to be thinking about how they get their product into game-engines (Unity and Unreal) as this powers the Metaverse. Kids no longer go to the mall to hang out, they meet in virtual worlds like Roblox and Fortnite. They want their avatar to have the latest sneakers and 3D models make that happen. Nike recognized this trend and just launched “Nike World” within Roblox to engage game consumers. Others are selling 3D models of their products as NFTs for owners to use throughout the metaverse, cross platform. NFTs and virtual skins provide a whole new revenue stream for brands.
Today, web, social media platforms and game-engines all have different requirements for 3D models to be compatible within their system. VNTANA’s patented algorithms automatically optimize and convert files to meet these various standards so you don’t need manual 3D artist work, saving tons of time and money. Clients like Adidas were able to accomplish in 1 hour what used to take them 6 weeks.
What does VNTANA’s most recent partnership with JOOR entail? What void will this fill in the retail market?
Joor integrated VNTANA’s 3D and AR technology into the JOOR platform, allowing JOOR customers and their retail partners to view all assets in 3D and AR. Currently, the JOOR platform and other B2B sales tools only offer 2D imagery capabilities, which provide a less-than-ideal user experience and underrepresents the products being viewed. This new integration allows brands to upload their existing 3D designs from programs like Browzwear, Clo and others and instantly see them on the JOOR platform in 3D, automatically optimized to meet web and mobile standards, saving days of time for digital product creation teams.
3D technology and eCommerce are evolving quickly and often upgrading a retail experience to 3D is time-consuming and expensive. VNTANA’s headless architecture and robust API allow technology partners to quickly add 3D capabilities on the back-end of their existing offerings, enabling platforms like JOOR, PTC, and others to quickly deploy 3D offerings to their customers with limited development time and expense.
Have brands seen concrete results from shifting to AR tech and digital showrooms?
Creating physical samples is a huge cost and often takes longer than planned, leading to late deliveries to retailers amidst increased supply chain issues. Mamiye Brother’s proved this year that they can sell to retailers with 3D digital samples instead of physical, saving time and money.
“2D images just were not cutting it and our 3D design files were too big to share taking minutes to load. VNTANA’s platform allows us to instantly share a 3D line sheet on the web so our clients can see every detail in 3D as if they were at a physical showroom,” said Chuck Mamiye CEO of Mamiye Bothers.
About Ashley Crowder
Ashley Crowder is the co-Founder and CEO of VNTANA. She has worked in the 3D/AR/VR space for over 10 years, helping Fortune 1000 brands including Adidas, Hugo Boss, Deckers Brands and more launch 3D applications to increase sales. She has 14 patents on mixed reality technology and is a part of the Khronos Group to create standards in 3D technology. Ashley was featured as one of USC’s leading engineering CEOs of 2016 and has given talks on the future of mixed reality at prestigious venues including SXSW, Augmented World Expo, TEDx, World Economic Forum and more.
VNTANA is a 3D Commerce Platform that helps brands, manufacturers, and retailers deploy immersive online experiences for e-commerce, B2B sales, social media, and the metaverse. Our fully-automated, patented 3D optimization reduces file size by up to 99% without any human effort involved so you instantly have the file types and size you need for the web, social media and virtual worlds. Built atop the industry’s first purpose-built 3D CMS, VNTANA provides infinite, automated scale that allows brands to deploy 3D assets for commerce through the highest-quality, fastest-loading 3D web viewer with built-in AR. Bolstered by a team of technical experts and the highest level of 3D and AR expertise in the industry, VNTANA is the single solution today’s brands need to quickly and easily deploy 3D assets at scale for any commerce need.