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Boosting online sales conversions - reasons to focus on e-commerce imagery

Consumers are looking for a more visually stimulating and interactive shopping experience. It is widely accepted that quality imagery is an essential part of any online listing, and that imagery boosts the listing’s chance to convert into a sale. Following this logic, multiple angles of the product multiply the likelihood of the listing to convert to a sale. That is due to the consumer getting a far more accurate assessment of the product. However, flat images limit the information that can be communicated, the engagement with the audience and search algorithms, and have traditionally been difficult, time consuming and expensive to produce. This is especially evident at scale, where hundreds of products need to be captured, images prepared, sized and metadata added. By offering an interactive virtual 3D view of a product, the information communicated is literally multiplied by 360x. The online shopping experience can now emulate the in-store experience, being able to interact and investigate elements important to the individual consumer. In the past, any vendor wishing to utilise this type of technology was faced with long timeframes and high cost implications - a swift, cost effective route to virtual 3D had been missing. Automatically creating all those views rapidly, and at scale, is a market niche identified as under-serviced in the global e-commerce market. However now a locally invented, funded and produced solution allows for rapid capture, virtual 3D generation and upload to a cloud based platform at a disruptively competitive price point. Once uploaded, (meta)data enrichment for search visibility, catalogue management and deployment tools complete the basic service to e-commerce merchants. If you are not looking at this as an imagery solution for your online listings – you are getting left behind. Multiple international surveys show that consumers want the ability to see products in 360° and zoom in on details. That makes complete sense: 3M’s research proves that humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text! While the product photography is the "shop-front" of the solution, the back end platform is where multiple levels of extra value are delivered. Combined with the fact that a 5 minute shoot can output 360° views in multiple media formats, it's time to explore this solution in more detail. As the first media outlet to incorporate this technology into our own article listings, we decided to investigate and detail 10 reasons why virtual3D is an inevitable part of any e-commerce business' future.

1. 360°3D Creates an in-store experience and builds customer confidence in the product = Higher Online Sales Conversions

Two international sports retailers have achieved double digit conversion increases with up to 30% higher conversion rates where products have been showcased in 360° spin views. PhotoSVR goes several steps further than the solutions these retailers used, by enabling 360°3D to replicate the tactile experience of picking up a product and examining it. It simply provides customers with the visual information and the additional confidence required to complete a purchase.

2. Increased Visual Information delivers reduced product returns

According to research, nearly 1/5 of all online sales are returned in mature e-commerce markets. At what cost to retailers? These platforms need to focus on how to reduce these return rates, without raising costs or changing policies. 360°3D helps customers make more informed purchase decisions, by more accurately and completely representing the product sold. Platforms using spin photography to differentiate new product lines, found that the return rate of their spinning products was reduced by 50%.

3. Call Centre Costs can be reduced by creating increased confidence in a particular product

Weary shoppers have a lot of questions. It’s a cycle that leads to an influx of customer service calls and operating costs. 360°3D product views allow shoppers to familiarize themselves with the product by exploring the angles and details that are of importance to their needs. The average result internationally shows a 24% reduction in the number of call centre calls prior to purchase.

4. Increased Engagement Leads to Customer Satisfaction - and Brand Loyalty

A recent study stated that consumers are 85x more likely to share positive reviews over negative reviews online. In addition to reducing returns and customer service calls, the interaction and engagement offered by 360°3D imagery can increase the average time on site substantially - in some cases spending 4x more time on a page. Companies that enable customers to become involved in the online shopping experience see an average increase in customer satisfaction, building positive engagements and brand loyalty.

5. Mobile Users Love it

According to an Adobe Mobile Consumer Survey, when comparing videos and alternative images, more mobile users say that a 360° view of a product is the visual feature most likely to increase their likelihood of purchasing.

6. Increase your UX

Online consumers all want a seamless process that makes them feel knowledgeable and confident before a transaction. By investing in high-quality rich media offered by 360°3D,consumers feel as if they have control over the experience - which creates a connection with the items and leads to an easier sale.

7. Engaging Visuals lead to engaged clients

Various industries have conceded that the overwhelming majority of customers begin their buying process online. 360°3D product views differentiate your products online, grab that customers’ (that customer’s / or those customers’) attention, engages them to create a memorable experience, which in turn build confidence in that product and leads to increased sales online – as well as in the physical store.

8. Flexibility of integration into digital platforms and Mobile Devices is key

Creating the 360°3D views is now becoming easier but deploying that view is the next challenge to overcome. By following tech giants’ strategies, a virtual 3D view is deployed much like video off platforms like Youtube. Sharing a unique url creates compatibility with virtually any website technology and programming language. Centralised hosting and deployment by link also enables multiple deployment points to be updated in a single action. This offers enormous time and hassle savings for merchants, translating those pixels into profits!

9. Create Brand Equity through memorable interactions

360°3D helps consumers develop a deeper connection to the product and thus also the brand. Creating emotional cues differentiates brands and fosters memorable engagement, improving customer retention. By converting our 360°3D product views into video, gifs and enhanced interactive views with feature callouts and animated elements, brands are empowered to showcase the experience, putting out promotions that deliver real sales growth and brand equity.

10. Efficiency, administration and subscription options all trim costs and timeframes to deliver more value.

The main barrier to entry to the 360 view solutions has historically been the cost. Most hardware solutions are truly expensive to set up and offer little scalability. Having a solution that can increase efficiency and offer the ability to scale is essential. Any solution needs to compete favourably with standard photography costs. Hardware should follow the 3D printer model where a “lego set” type of construction, containing very little custom manufacturing, can be assembled almost anywhere in a number of days. Simple software tools must enable photographic technicians to execute upwards of 4 products per hour. This should include uploads to a cloud-based centralised storage platform, with SKU management, self-provisioning tools for enrichment and deployment, upgrades and more. If you are ready to explore a solution that can add this sort of value to your online shoppers, and deliver in hours what used to take weeks - you are in luck. A locally invented and funded 360°3D solution, is currently servicing customers with rapid capture, virtual 3D generation and cloud-based admin platform for digital asset management of the data. The back-end is where multiple levels of extra value are delivered in a hybrid photo service and SaaS business model. With a 5 minute shoot able to output in multiple media formats, only this solution ticks every box for these 10 reasons above. With it’s low risk and high rewards, 360°3D is an inevitable part of any e-commerce business' future. ED: Check out for introductory specials and utilise our dedicated promocode AF2310 to get added value at no extra cost on a limited time offer for October.

Grant West - AutoForum //

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