One of the biggest opportunities for e-commerce today is to offer an online shopping experience that convincingly replicates or even improves upon in-store shopping. Coming up with innovative ways to present the product, and in doing so offering the client an extra level of interactivity, should really be a top priority for online retailers. 3D and it’s many applications provides an abundance of opportunities to do just that.

The Future Shopper report, done by Wunderman Commerce, shows that 72% of consumers are likely to shop with retailers that are digitally innovative. They favor brands and online stores who provide them with new and exciting ways to interact with the product online, giving the in-store experience found in brick-and-mortar stores a real run for its money. This requires brands to embrace advanced technologies like 3D to boost their site merchandising strategies.

Trump the in-store experience
Through browser-based configurator solutions like Expivi, online shoppers can now experience the product in a way that in some cases trumps the in-store experience. As customization is becoming the new standard, a 3D configurator gives shoppers the ability to first create ‘their’ specific product, view it from every possible angle and even zoom in to appreciate important details. This helps to mitigate perceived risks of buying online which leads to increased conversion.

Big impact
Of course, at the end of the day, all that matters is how adding 3D to your visual content mix impacts conversion rates. Large bodies of scientific research prove the role of visual content in e-commerce. It is the only tangible representation of the product, therefore in a way, it is the product. Adding 3D models, render spins or 360-degree photos can have a material impact on increasing conversion and lowering returns. For example, since the implementation of an augmented reality tool to help customers visualize furniture and decor in their home, technology-home-design company Houzz’s customers are 11 times more likely to make purchases on the website.

Lower return rates
But it is not just conversions that benefit from the application of 3D. Properly managing buyer expectations at key stages in the buyer journey can dramatically lower return rates., for example, found that the return rate for shoppers that use augmented reality is 22% lower than shoppers who didn’t use the tool when buying the same product.

Don’t be left behind
Brands that don’t take the necessary steps to align their visual merchandising strategy with fast-changing consumer expectations run the serious risk of being left behind. 3D product visualization in all of its many forms can help you transform your channels into the interactive online shopping experience your customers have come to expect.

If you would like to know how we can help you achieve this, please don’t hesitate to let us know. We would gladly tell you more about implementing 3D product visualization into your digital merchandising strategy.