Chapter 1:
Visual Commerce: A Guide for eCommerce Brands and Retailers

Visual Commerce: Enhance Your Graphics to Increase Your Sales

Visual commerce helps eCommerce brands increase digital sales by leveraging visual content such as photos, videos, 3D, and Augmented Reality (AR) to create an immersive customer experience. Strategic use of these technologies can help you deliver more realistic product previews which promote engagement and boost eCommerce sales.

This three-part guide will walk you through what you need to know to start putting visual commerce to use to increase your marketing and sales results:

  • In Chapter 1, we’ll define visual commerce, explore why brands invest in it, identify the main types of visual commerce strategies, and explain how 3D and AR can enhance visual eCommerce campaigns.
  • In Chapter 2, we’ll share eCommerce merchandising strategiesyou can use to put the power of visual commerce to use.
  • In Chapter 3, we’ll provide an eCommerce visual merchandisingchecklist you can use to help you put visual commerce strategies into practice.

What is Visual Commerce?

Visual commerce is an eCommerce strategy that optimizes graphics technology to provide more realistic product previews that promote customer engagement and sales. Graphics elements that support visual commerce strategies include:

  • High-quality photos
  • 360-degree walkthroughs
  • Interactive 3Dmodels
  • Augmented Reality (AR) virtual try-ons

These visual technologies grab online shoppers’ attention, make it easier for a digital customer to navigate online stores, and allow buyers to experience lifelike previews of products from the convenience of their mobile device or PC. Compelling visuals promote a better virtual shopping experience, higher engagement, and higher sales.

Why are Online Retailers and Brands Investing in Visual Commerce Platform Strategies?

Visual commerce platform adoption has grown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by financial news agency NewsOrigins. Pandemic lockdowns accelerated a trend toward digital shopping, which was already in motion. As shoppers spent less time in brick-and-mortar stores and less time physically interacting with products, delivering compelling digital product previews became critical for online sales.

Even though shoppers have started returning to brick-and-mortar stores, visual commerce is vital in driving online sales and persuading potential customers to browse online inventory. Customers who get a realistic feel for products online feel confident they are making informed purchase decisions, increasing their likeliness to purchase. These customers are also less likely to abandon shopping carts and less likely to return products. Using 3D visual commerce strategies, companies can double their conversion rates while seeing returns fall by 40%.

Types of Visual Commerce Strategies

As visual commerce platforms have grown, brands have developed several effective marketing strategies for deploying this emerging technology. These include:

Utilizing High-Resolution 2D and 3D Product Photos

High-quality product photos can strengthen your visual merchandising strategy by making your eCommerce website’s product pages more immersive and compelling. Methods range from the simpler to the more advanced:

  • Crawl: Provide high-quality 2D photos which visitors can browse at their own pace to study product details, zoom in on features, and visualize product uses.
  • Walk: Stitch together 2D photos into a 360-degree view, letting shoppers see your product from all angles, including angles they couldn’t see in a physical store.
  • Run: Bring your products to life with 3Dimages and AR effects, which let shoppers see products from multiple perspectives and preview how they would look being worn or used in their home.

Each of these methods has its own best uses and best practices. For example, 3D and AR effects can be used to set up strategic product placement of items you want to showcase on your website. Take advantage of these technologies to promote your hottest merchandise where visitors are most likely to see it.

Making Navigation Visually Intuitive

Visual commerce technology lets you make your website visually intuitive to navigate, promoting more clicks and engagement. You can use visual features to build an easy-to-navigate website structure and search bars that let customers browse products on your website.

Making the most of this method requires categorizing your content clearly and logically and tagging product attributes. The VNTANA hotspots tagging feature lets you tag product images to add AR callout text which users can check out as they browse.

Incorporating User-Generated Content

Combining visual commerce with social media marketing offers a powerful way to engage customers by incorporating User-Generated Content (UGC) from social followers and influencers into eCommerce websites. For example, you can repost content from your customers’ organic social media posts or share customer photos from reviews and testimonials. Showcasing these online interactions serves as social proof that customers love your product and can influence online shoppers’ purchase decisions.

How 3D and AR Technology Enhance Visual Commerce

3D and AR offer some of the most engaging applications of visual commerce technology by enabling highly immersive product visualization. You can use these tools to:

  • Engage users with interactive 3D models in real-time, which let customers see products from multiple angles as if they were manipulating the object or walking around it, including images of what they’d look like wearing an item.
  • Use 3D in combination with AR to allow customers to view products against the backdrop of their physical environment in their home or yard using their smartphone or tablet.
  • Rapidly create 3D product images from 2D renders, eliminating the need for physical photo shoots.
  • Provide immersive user experiences which give deeper product understanding, bridging the gap between online shopping and the in-store experience.

These applications make 3D and AR an effective way to deliver digital customers a shopping experience that combines the immersive quality of in-store shopping with the convenience of shopping from home.

Implement Your Visual Commerce Strategy Easily with VNTANA

Implementing a visual eCommerce strategy requires using a suitable visual commerce platform. VNTANA’s 3D and AR Commerce platform is designed to get you up and running quickly.

Our 3D web viewer can be used on any site and includes built-in AR support, which works across all devices. Patented optimization algorithms ensure that your 3D images load fast without compromising image quality, avoiding slow downloads, which can cost you customers. We use Google to index your images for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), ensuring that your products appear in search engine results. Our customers enjoy a 100% increase in conversion rates, a 60%  increase in Average Order Value (AOV), and a 40% drop in returns.

Schedule a demo to see how it works. Or read on to learn more about how you can leverage visual eCommerce by using eCommerce merchandising strategies.