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    3D Modeling in E-commerce: Business Benefits and Tips

    3D Modeling in E-commerce: Business Benefits and Tips

    Tracy Watson


    11 min read

    3d models in ecommerce

    Even though 3D e-commerce has been around for quite some time now, there are still a lot of online stores that still use 2D content. Many online retailers are still using those good old-fashioned photos of products on a white background, while only a few selectively use 3D reviews and 360 photos. Even businesses that, at least theoretically, plan to apply 3D visualization in the foreseeable future rarely imagine the difference between its various types. In this article, we will talk about the business benefits of 3D modeling for online stores, the differences in modern types of 3D content, and give an example of their effective use.

    Let’s Get Our Terminology Right 

    There seems to be some confusion about the terms used to describe the various 3D modeling techniques. Today it is customary to distinguish 2 main types of such content: 360° Photo and 3D reviews. The matter is further complicated because 360° Photo is sometimes called a 3D photo, i.e., a term that means something completely different. This creates inevitable confusion and, while expecting to see one thing, the retailer is often faced with something that they imagined differently.

    360 ° Photo is the result of a panoramic photo of an object (product), which can be rotated only horizontally or horizontally and vertically using an interactive player, depending on the specific type of panoramic shot. It allows you to view the product from all sides, while it is a series of photographs that create the illusion of volume and three-dimensionality of the image. The 3D view is something a little bit different. Here we are talking about three-dimensional models of goods equipped with interactive functions. They can be viewed from all sides and see additional text, control functional moving parts of the model, and receive information about the purpose of buttons connectors, etc.

    An experienced 3D modeling company will consult you on what best suits your business and will help you create it. 

    Tips on Putting 3D Modeling Into Action 

    3d modeling in ecommerce.

    The main advantage of 360 ° Photos is the relative simplicity of their creation. This can be done by taking a digital shot of the object. It is important to understand that a high-quality 3D image will require a fairly large number of images. Accordingly, the volume of photos increases, and their loading on the product page almost always takes a long time. Moreover, this raises the question of the Internet speed from the side of the store, which, in some cases, leaves much to be desired.

    At the same time, the method of creation guarantees the photographic accuracy of the display of the object. Some stores and marketplace sellers create a GIF file based on a randomly rotating 360 ° Photo to simplify the work with content. Once it was quite an original and effective technique, today, these gifs leave a painful impression.

    From a technical point of view, 3D reviews are full-fledged 3D models that are additionally optimized for a demonstration on web pages, so to speed up loading by limiting the number of triangles and the size of textures, gluing textures, storing a bump map instead of a normal map, as well as using loading when Help Content Delivery Network. Modern 3D views also have realistic lens flares, which were created using the MGEM shader.

    Business Benefits of 3D Modeling 

    Now that we have discussed the terminology and application of 3D modeling in e-commerce let’s move on to the business benefits for your store. These include: 

    • More value for your money – There is no need to hire a professional photographer or studio to take pictures of your products. You have a three-dimensional model of your product, which you can rotate and take photos of from any angle. This is demonstrated in our case study, where we created a 3D modeling solution for the footwear industry
    • Increased conversion rates – The 3D product images help you create an innovation-powered, interactive eCommerce store where users can see and feel your product which positively affects your conversion rates.
    • Improved visual communication – You can pitch investors and clients visually appealing even if the product is not on the market yet. The 3D product views are better able to conceptualize the product design. 
    3D modeling solution for Footwear Industry

    There are some additional benefits, such as attracting new demographics. Millennials are now forming families and buying their dwellings – this means they need furniture to fill their homes. Now is the best time for you to focus on this demographic. The Y generation wants unique experiences, values a personal approach, is tied to social media, and is 100% mobile. All that makes this demographic very easy to attract with 3D product views. The reasons have been mentioned before – everything is customizable (unique experience/personal approach), and CGI is perfectly suited to social media visual standards. Don’t forget to make a version of your product website for smartphones, and you’re good to go!

    Complementing 3D Modeling With AR

    One of the biggest challenges in marketplace development is combining 3D modeling with augmented reality e-commerce technologies since creating 3D models of objects is a troublesome and expensive task.

    It is important to consider the number of products to be converted into 3D models and the margin of your business. With low-margin bulk products, it will be difficult for you to recoup the investment for such a project.

    In addition, you should consider the feasibility of creating a 3D model of a product in your business niche. There is no point in creating 3D models of a wrench for the AR functionality of an online store. But it makes sense to spend money on creating a virtual model of an expensive interior element that the client would like to evaluate in the real space of his home or office. IKEA was able to bring AR functionality to reality since part of the core business of this company is the creation of 3D models for the production of furniture at the factory. The company used this intangible asset, which it already owned, to implement innovative experiences for end-users.

    Keep in mind that every year the creation of virtual models for AR is becoming an increasingly simple and accessible process due to the development of new approaches and technologies.

    The classic approach to creating product models for AR is to develop 3D models in 3D graphics editors. But there are alternative methods that are less sophisticated but much more affordable for entrepreneurs. 

    3d ecommerce

    3D Modeling Technology is an Absolute Must-Have for Today’s E-commerce 

    Thanks to 3D imaging, a retailer can provide customers with a graphical 3D product representation that is also interactive. With a 3D model, a customer can 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 thanks to 3D imaging.

    According to the Cappasity 3D imaging market research, 82 percent of visitors to the product page activate the 3D view, and 95 percent of respondents prefer an interactive 3D representation to video playback. So, it does not come as a surprise that 3D product imaging allows for a significant increase in key metrics like conversion rate.

    Skywell Software Can Provide You with Comprehensive 3D Modeling Solutions

    Even though online stores deliver a more convenient browsing experience and a wider assortment than usually found in brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce still has limitations. It could not overcome consumers’ desire to study the product from all possible angles before purchase, nor could it convincingly replicate the in-store experience. To get all of the benefits 3D modeling offers businesses, you will need to partner with an experienced and reliable software development company. Skywell Software has extensive experience and insider expertise in developing 3D modeling solutions for online retailers and can help make your next project a commercial success. Contact us today to learn more. 

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