With the holidays upon us, tis’ the season for e-commerce to be jolly! Retailers and merchants look forward to this time of year as it's the most gratifying period in terms of sales. However, they must be well prepared, as thousands of consumers are about to storm any online fortress to get the best possible presents.
With the National Retail Federation (NRF) projecting a 4.3 percent to 4.8 percent increase in holiday sales this season over last year, retailers should be ready to add extra oomph to their usual website visualization. What can they do?
Most would agree that when it comes to holiday gift shopping, the first impression is everything. Some would even take it a step further and proclaim that proper visualization is the first step to a happy purchase. Since online shoppers can’t physically examine the item they’re considering, the only way to help them get over their uncertainty is to present them with comprehensive, high-quality imagery.
Still, having high-resolution product photos alone isn't good enough anymore. Customers want more. Here's the ultimate product visualization guide in three stages:
Once customers find an item that catches their interest, they usually go to the product page to study the potential purchase in greater detail. Since clothing zippers, jewelry clasps, and footwear soles rarely appear on the front catalog page, they require a particularly careful examination. Consequently, the seamless zoom has become a must-have feature for e-commerce, as it allows customers to zoom in on specific details and to get a better feel for the product without physically touching it.
To enhance the online shopping experience, merchants should also consider using short videos to show products in motion. Many consumers say that watching product videos make them more confident in making purchase decisions. Still, according to the recent research, 95 percent of respondents prefer an interactive 3-D representation to video playback, which brings us to …
While there’s no “one-size-fits-all” holiday present, some products are almost guaranteed to go hand-in-hand with any gift, including wrapping paper with holiday cards.
It’s only recently that 3-D technologies have advanced enough to be able to process product features frequently present on products like these, such as glitter, foil, and embossing.
The ability to showcase challenging products interactively is not the only benefit of 3-D product imaging, as it also boosts metrics that are especially tangible during the holiday season, with conversion rate being a prime example.
The case study of TSUM, one of the largest luxury goods department stores in Eastern Europe, proves that it’s possible for 3-D product imaging to increase conversion rate by almost 40 percent while also having large catalogs (40,000 SKUs) digitized in a reasonable timeframe.
Measure Twice …
To choose the ultimate product visualization, one might need previously nonexistent data. Here’s where an artificial intelligence (AI) analytics tool comes into play.
The AI analytics of today can track the way potential customers interact with product imagery embedded into retailers’ websites, whether 2-D or 3-D images, and present the most important metrics on a heat map. Besides increasing customer dwell time, the tool also highlights points of customer interest and the best angles for thumbnail product positioning.
With the insights offered by AI, e-commerce merchants will be able to improve product visualization, choose winning color combinations, and put holiday best-sellers at the forefront of their offerings. For example, say that 80 percent of a product page's visitors spent the lion's share of dwell time examining the buttons on a Christmas sweater. To a marketing team comfortable with making decisions on the go, this type of data could prove invaluable.
With a combination of 3-D view, seamless zoom, limitless configuration options, and cutting-edge analytics tools, holiday shopping is bound to transform into an experience that boosts both spirits and sales.
Kosta Popov, CEO and founder of Cappasity — the company providing an easy and scalable platform for creation, embedding and analysis of 3D and AR/VR content — has a 16-plus year successful track record as a software company CEO. Under Kosta’s leadership, Cappasity successfully raised $4.9M and launched its platform and 3D digitizing software in 2017. Kosta is an expert in 3D technologies, SaaS solutions, and mobile applications and one of the top innovators of 2016 by Intel Software.