360°: The Future of E-commerce Relies on Digital Innovation
As more consumers are choosing online shopping over in-person shopping out of both necessity and preference, technology must develop along with it to ensure a dynamic customer experience. Online stores lack interaction, personalization, and accurate portrayal of products when compared with their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Product customization, 3D visualization technology, and Augmented Reality offer solutions to each of these issues. The future of e-commerce business is digital innovation!
The Future of Luxury E-commerce
Luxury consumers spend billions of dollars a year on cars, bags, jewelry (internal link to the Jewelry Page), watches, clothing, furniture, and shoes. A false assumption in luxury commerce is that consumers won’t spend a premium to purchase luxury items online. This has been proven to be false. It is projected that 20% of luxury sales will be made online by 2025. To achieve this figure, innovative software must be integrated into luxury online stores to provide the same personal shopping experience online as is achieved in a physical store.
Here are the three key e-commerce trends that are setting a new standard in online shopping:
1 - Instilling Emotional Connections with Product Customization
Product customization has elevated the online luxury shopping experience. A recent consumer study revealed that 53% of online shoppers believe that personalized e-commerce websites provide a better service than companies that do not provide personalized options. This means offering consumers the power to edit and design their own products makes them twice as likely to purchase the items. Customization may simply be a perk when it comes to shopping for lower-end items, but it is swiftly becoming the norm for online luxury commerce.
2 - Properly Visualizing Items with 3D Product Renderings
Luxury consumers aren’t just shopping for a product, they are also shopping for the label, the detail, and the experience. They want to pick up an item and inspect every single design detail from all angles before purchasing. High-quality 3D rendering software makes this possible in the world of digital commerce. WebGL technology produces stunning 3D representations of products in real-time so customers can fully inspect an item, as if they were in a store or gallery. Our current CAD software (internal link to subscription packages) produces the highest-quality interactive 3D files that exist on the market today.
3 - Interacting with Products with Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality projects digital images and products onto a user’s own environment, creating a fully-immersed experience. Highly effective AR technology blurs the lines between the real world and the virtual augmentation of it. This means customers can use their mobile device to try on clothes, situate furniture in a room, and even test drive a car from the comfort of their own home. The cost of AR technology makes it currently inaccessible to some at this point. As more AR options are to flood the market in the next decade, this technology will become more affordable, and in turn, standard in online shopping.
Here are a few AR products that we are particularly excited about:
Microsoft HoloLens: The HoloLens is Microsoft’s approach to AR, or as they call it, mixed reality. These glasses produce holographs that are completely blended into the user’s environment or can even simulate a whole new virtual world in front of the user. Microsoft’s large financial dedication to this project is just more proof that AR is here to stay.
Apple AR Glasses: Rumor has it that Apple is producing their own version of AR glasses and headsets. All of your IPhone information will appear in the AR lenses instead of on your phone screen. It is expected to project things such as “texts, emails, maps, and games over the user’s field of vision.” The goal is to introduce it as a new product, but in time, it could replace the IPhone.
AR Virtual Mirrors: This technology scans a user and precisely projects a given outfit or object over their body, without the user having to do anything. These two-way mirrors are especially useful for retail stores as they can also suggest outfits to the user, figure the shopper’s size, allow the user to move and test the piece virtually, and completely streamline the in-person and online shopping experience.
The Future of the Customer Experience
Customers want to identify with a product; luxury consumers take this to an even greater level. They want customized, non-mass-produced items: it must be something that is theirs, and theirs only. Modern digital e-commerce platforms with customizable products allow clients to edit the texture, material, color, size, and over-all look of an item, making it truly and uniquely theirs. Shoppers are more emotionally connected with a personalized purchase, which makes them not only more likely to buy it, but also more likely to be satisfied with the final product that arrives at their door.
3D product visualizations offer luxury consumers the opportunity to interact with a product in an online store. They can virtually pick up and examine a product from all 360-degrees, zoom in to study product details, and zoom out for a better over-all understanding of the product. This particularly serves online stores that have customizable products as customers can view different item combinations and compare them in way that online stores with only 2D photo galleries cannot.
Augmented Reality is completely changing the game. AR offers perks that even a physical store cannot. Say a customer is trying to buy fabric to replace couch cushions. Dragging furniture to the fabric store to match fabrics is unrealistic. Customers can now simply project their phone over the couch to perfectly match the fabric color to the products offered in an online store. AR enables users to try on an outfit before purchasing, buy perfectly sized gifts, and interact with a product in their real-life environment before making a decision. While 3D product renderings offer consumers the opportunity to get a full sense of a product, AR will literally project an item into their world.
The Future of the Business Experience
Digital advancements don’t just serve the consumer; they also serve businesses. Utilizing 3D and AR technology creates a leaner manufacturing business model. There is less waste as products are not manufactured until customers have tailored their order to their specific wants and needs. Money can also be saved in warehouse costs through reduced inventory. This streamlines a company’s whole production through optimization of resources, thus making a company more profitable and sustainable over-all.
The future of e-commerce is happening now. Not using the technology available, like Augmented Reality and 3D product renderings means your business is falling behind. Catch up by joining us in an e-commerce world where digital innovation can transform your company and your consumer’s e-commerce experience.
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