Today commerce is actively moving into virtual space. E-commerce volume is increasing and the number of online stores is growing, with their management on an active search for new ways to attract buyers' attention. To sell merchandise, large online stores are starting to implement 3D images into their websites more and more actively, as well as use augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) technologies. Kosta Popov, Founder and CEO of Cappasity, the company that created the platform that allows businesses to implement 3D technologies, will discuss how 3D images expand opportunities for online stores and change the familiar notion of shopping.
Why are 3D images becoming a new trend in e-commerce today? What is the reason behind their popularity?
When online stores embed 3D images of merchandise into their websites, they give their clients a unique opportunity to study products in every detail. A potential buyer can carefully study a product from all angles – rotate it around its axis and zoom in or out. The product is practically in their hands, so there is more of a chance that they will decide to make the purchase. In addition to this, the buyer will be sure that this product really suits them. Implementation of 3D images into websites significantly increases sales and decreases the number of returns. When it comes to the luxury segment, implementation of this technology allows retailers to increase sales by up to 40%.
Which segments of e-commerce have the most demand for 3D technologies?
First of all, 3D images are in high demand in the fashion industry and wherever demonstration of products is required. For instance, they are used in decoration and furnishing and in selling jewelry, household appliances or sports goods. It is also important to note that 3D technologies are of keen interest for small and medium companies, as well as large businesses.
What are the main challenges that online retailers face when they implement 3D images into their websites?
The main obstacle for online retailers is that they need to create a large number of high-quality 3D images quite fast. Their catalogs contain a vast number of products and are being constantly updated. At the same time, production of 3D images should be within a reasonable cost. No one would pay, say, $200 per product for its 3D digitization, if the company needs them digitized at a rate of thousands of products per month..
The Ecosystem will be in high demand by businesses, as it gives the opportunity to purchase and sell 3D content with maximum security and acquire the necessary amount of high-quality content from professionals at the best price.
What opinion does the business community hold on AR/VR technologies in general? What condition is the market in now?
Today 3D technologies are in high demand in e-commerce, entertainment, art, medicine, education, the military-industrial complex, and some other industries. The business community’s interest in these technologies is growing due to the unique opportunities of deep immersion into a created environment and interaction with any object. AR/VR technologies have become an innovative and very effective marketing tool that provides strong emotional contact with the target audience.
According to a study by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the worldwide AR/VR spending is expected to be $11.4 bn in 2017 and will jump as high as $215 bn by 2021. That means that the worldwide spending on augmented and virtual reality is expected to double every year until 2021.
Will AR / VR technologies become an integral part of e-commerce or will this technological fashion disappear in the long run?
Imagine that you own a furniture store. Thanks to AR technology, your customers will be able to project 3D holograms of furniture they like into their own homes. When choosing a new sofa, a buyer will be able to see how it looks in their living room. As soon as they realize that the sofa fits perfectly with their living room’s design, all doubts will disappear, and they will immediately make the purchase.
Or, let us say, you run a real estate business. Imagine that your client does not have time to come and take a look at the house they liked when they were visiting your website - solve this by offering them a virtual tour. And if you own a travel agency and a client comes to your office but has doubts whether to buy a tour, ask them to put on virtual reality glasses to get a taste of their future vacation for a little while. The likelihood that a potential buyer will become an actual one increases greatly, while the time that your tour agents can spend on other customers grows.
AR/VR technologies bring tangible benefits to many businesses, as they allow for implementing new sales methods and ways of interaction with clients. As a result, the costs associated with client interaction are reduced, yet the effectiveness of interaction is rises.
Thus, everything points to AR/VR technologies further strengthening their positions over time, becoming an integral part of e-commerce, and causing those companies that are actively implementing them to develop dynamically and prosper.