For the last few years, luxury giants have been very cautious with new technologies. In 2019, however, there’s a fundamental shift in the way brands think about the latest digital marketing tools, as the luxury tech specter of these becomes crucial. With the growth of personal luxury goods sales continuing at a 4% to 5% compound annual rate over the next three years, brands are revisiting the customer experience and investing in game-changing solutions for increased interactivity. One such game changer is 3D technologies.
Right now the complexity of 3D content production is a significant deterrent to the development of the industry. Let’s take a look at how 3D content is being made now . Designers can create it manually and 3D scanners — automatically. Still, all scanners are useless when it comes to processing black and glossy objects, materials that are reflective such as silks and leathers, or textured — like velvet and wool. Transparent objects are out of reach, too.
Enter 3D product imaging — a technological process that allows 3D content to be produced by the retailers themselves. What’s more, restrictions for objects that couldn’t be digitized are now mute. Thanks to this process an entirely new format — a 3D View, which is almost an emulation of a traditional 3D image — is now available to the market.
3D View is an interactive product representation that allows a customer to choose what part of the object they’d like to see. Zoom in or out? Rotate the object? View it in motion? All these features are easily accessible. Engagement levels and interactivity are not the only metrics to be positively affected by 3D product imaging as it also boosts metrics that directly influence sales, with conversion rate being a prime example. Right now 3D visualization is already being used by companies such as Samsonite, American Greetings, Guérin Joaillerie (part of the Galeries Lafayette Group), and many others.
Here's a tutorial on how to create and embed 3D views.
In the future, there will be alternative ways to create and visualize 3D content that by then will have already spread globally. In particular, it will be possible to use machine learning to correct poorly processed textures and geometry data of the items that cannot be faultlessly depicted in 3D now. The industry will have to solve this problem to have 3D enter everyday life as 2D photos once did.
As Blake Morgan writes for Forbes, “AI has the potential to completely transform the traditional retail experience and take it to the next level with personalization, automation, and increased efficiency.” However, these are not the only building blocks of qualitative customer experience to benefit from Artificial Intelligence.
As business decision making becomes steadily more data-driven, the demand for measurable metrics is higher than ever. Conversion rate, web site traffic and customer engagement levels are essential guides for marketers in all industries, yet some don’t even realize they need previously nonexistent data that is now available.
AI analytics tools of 2019 will be able to track the way potential customers interact with product imagery embedded into retailers’ web sites and present the most important metrics on a heat map. Apart from dwell time, the tool will highlight points of customer interest and the best angles for thumbnail product positioning, as well as predict the probability of the purchase based on the patterns in customer behavior.
While digital kiosks aren’t unknown to brick-and-mortar retail, digital signage of today offers additional interactivity, increased engagement levels and seamless omnichannel experience, as any 3D imagery available to web sites also will be accessible via digital installations.
Interactive kiosks showcase a selection of items on sale and, depending on the digital signage software provider, attract customers with different storytelling formats: some show product videos while others focus on 3D product imaging. Both are interactive yet, as always, it’s the customer who makes the decision.
The in-store displays allow for browsing goods that are not available in the physical point of sale, as well as getting a purchase code and ordering home delivery — customer options are numerous.
AR And VR
According to Goldman Sachs, the market for AR and VR in retail will reach $1.6 billion by 2025. VR is revolutionizing the shopping experience by reinventing the environment of physical stores, while AR enriches it by creating extra layers of imagery — projecting items, showcasing them in motion, mimicking the process of trying things on. With the ability to make shopping more interactive, entertaining and exotic, AR and VR in retail are well on their way to becoming the new standard for brands that know the importance of innovations for customer experience.
The Bottom Line
3D technologies, AI for purchase prediction and in-depth analytics, revival of the physical store with the help of digital signage and AR/VR are the retail trends that together form a solid foundation for a holistic business strategy meant to boost sales and pave the way for brand innovations in retail.
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+ years successful track record as a software company CEO. Popov is an expert in 3D technologies, SaaS solutions and mobile applications and one of the top innovators by Intel Software.