E-commerce investments are looking more attractive in the era of coronavirus, when stores are all but irrelevant to retail’s increasingly shaky bottom line.
While consumers are forced to stay in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, retailers hoping to get a larger slice of e-commerce sales and decrease the rate of product returns are seeking ways to improve how an online shopper views product on their website through technologies that deliver 3D and augmented reality (AR) product visualization.
One such retailer, French luxury fashion brand ba&sh, has ambitious plans for global growth, and invested in technology from Cappasity to bolster its e-commerce experience and give stay-at-home shoppers an in-depth taste of what its products would look like in person.
The Cappasity platform is designed to bring an in-store browsing experience to online retail through interactive and photorealistic 3D images that can be embedded into websites, mobile apps and AR/VR applications. The solution enables shoppers to get an up-close, 360-degree view of fashion merchandise in 4K resolution. Cappasity reports higher conversion rates for its clients—between 10 percent and 30 percent—and fewer returns when their product pages have interactive 3D-view images.
“A lot of returns happen because a product looks different than it did on the website, so it’s very important that every product detail gets portrayed very realistically,” Kosta Popov, CEO of Cappasity, told Sourcing Journal. “3D visualization solves this problem. Customers can interact with an item just like they would offline and evaluate its details from every available angle in 4K quality. This increases time on page and helps reduce returns.”
Cappasity has noticed increased inbound interest amid the COVID-19 pandemic as stores remain closed and more retailers shift their business gears to focus on e-commerce and improve the online shopping experience, Popov added.
For its part, ba&sh strives to “make our customers feel comfortable and confident in any circumstances, including online shopping on our website,” chief digital officer Alexandra Nervi said. “That’s what we’re going to achieve with the help of Cappasity 3D product imaging technology. Our premium quality fabrics and intricate designs will now be shown through 4K definition 3D images which can be rotated and zoomed at a touch of a finger.”
On Tuesday, fellow product visualization software Threekit announced it is launching an AR feature while everyone is shopping at home via mobile devices. The configurable AR feature is designed to automatically generate 3D files for every customization on iOS and Android devices, and enable customers to see exactly what they have personally customized in the context of their own space, without depending on a single 3D model to represent what they’re looking for.
The company aims to simplify the visualization process for product marketers, who often need to create new technical specifications and 3D files for every color, material and feature offered for any given product. For example, a furniture company that sells 100 chairs with 10 colors per model would need to create 2,000 3D and AR-ready files (one for iOS and one for Android) for a customer to see every possible combination.
“As businesses adapt to the impacts of COVID-19, being able to showcase products online beautifully and efficiently has never been more important,” Ben Houston, founder and chief technology officer of Threekit, noted. “The way that people experience, learn about and purchase products today will have a lasting impact on what they expect from businesses in the future.”
To support this launch, Threekit is currently offering its 3D configurator and AR services for free for 100 companies. The free software offer is valid until July 31 and applies to one product in 3D configuration and augmented reality.