Why retailers need a 3D digital transformation strategy

The digital revolution truly began to take place in 2021. 91 percent of organizations have adopted or anticipate adopting a digital-first business strategy, according to data from Foundry. Businesses are spending an average of $16.5 million annually on digital technologies, including data analytics, machine learning (ML), artificial intelligence (AI), and shifting operations to public clouds. However, organizations that wish to secure their future cannot ignore the importance of 3D in their digital transformation strategy.

A digital transformation strategy is comparable to a 3D digital transformation strategy, in our opinion at GiulioPetillo Studio. According to studies, up to 92 percent of 3D users currently consider this technology as a method to improve their customers' experiences. After seeing the advantages 3D offers for improving customer experiences, marketing, training, and product configuration, the vast majority of these (94%) want to invest further in the technology.

3D cannot be considered an add-on moving forward. Rather, it needs to be the focal point of any e-commerce strategy. Additionally, doing so does not result in inflated budgets. There are many uses for a single 3D asset, and doing so has many advantages.

The many use cases for 3D assets

The requirements of your industry, department, and project will determine the various and diverse use cases for 3D assets.

A digital version of a product, for instance, enables teams to test a prototype with customers or focus groups before going into full-scale production.

This not only allows for more iterations, which can ultimately result in a better product, but it can also save money and time (conventional prototyping might take weeks, months, or even longer). This is so that adjustments can be made to a 3D model more easily than they can to a real prototype. Additionally, it is less expensive to develop digital copies of a product than traditional prototypes.

The manufacturing process and quality assurance, or ensuring sure the finished product meets the requirements outlined before a project starts, can then be informed by these same 3D items.

With 3D technology, you can promote a product even before it is manufactured. Businesses are now able to generate advertising materials for their products utilizing 3D models thanks to virtual photography (CGI representations of virtual products). Furthermore, we're not only referring to product images. Also, you can produce films and GIFs, two kinds of material that frequently succeed on social media sites.

3D technology allows Customers may virtually try on items while buying online products. Customers can either place objects like furniture in their own homes or "try on" clothing, footwear, and headgear on their bodies. 

Customers may more easily understand which products would suit them best based on characteristics like color or size thanks to 3D product visualizations and try-on. As a result, people may feel more assured that they made the best purchasing choice and that there won't be any surprises when a thing is delivered as a result. Nearly one in two consumers claim they would be willing to pay more for a product if they could see it in 3D or through augmented reality first (AR).

However, for businesses, 3D visuals and try-on translate into lower returns and shipping expenses. Shopify claims that 3D visualization reduces returns by 40%.

IKEA is one of the companies that has embraced 3D digital transformation to a great extent. The business of IKEA is heavily reliant on 3D assets. The home furnishings firm largely relies on 3D technology for everything from packaging, prototypes, and manufacturing to creative testing and store layout.

IKEA's Place app, from the perspective of the consumer, enables buyers to virtually "place" size 3D models of furniture and home decor items in their own homes. It rose to the position of the second-most downloaded app on the App Store within the first six months of its release.

IKEA is steadfast in its commitment to improving its 3D/AR customer offering. It is now developing a tool that will allow smartphone users to turn their homes into 3D models that they can then use to arrange IKEA home furnishings.

Develop once, use everywhere

A 3D strategy provides retailers with an unmatched competitive advantage. Retailers of all sizes may now produce 3D models at scale and distribute them across various digital spaces thanks to technologies like 3D modeling, photogrammetry, and 2D to 3D conversion:

  • Google or social media advertising. Product 3D renderings can be used to develop interactive social media filters and immersive advertising campaigns on websites like Google Swirl.
  • Virtual photography. Retailers can save time and money by forgoing elaborate picture shoots with virtual photography.
  • Google Search. Users who search for certain things on Google might get a 3D representation of the products. 
  • Virtual try-on and product visualization on e-commerce stores and apps. Right from their e-commerce stores and apps, retailers may now provide virtual try-on and product visualizations.
  • Virtual showrooms. Virtual showrooms can be a great substitute for customers who are unable to visit a physical showroom or for firms who lack the space for one. 
  • In-store try-on. Customers could be reluctant to touch things in stores while they are experiencing health emergencies. On the other hand, certain products could be too challenging and cumbersome to put on (think swimming goggles, wetsuits, etc.) Virtual try-on, which lets clients try on 3D renderings of things, can be useful in certain situations. 

We are also beginning to see 3D models being used in Livestream shoppingenterprise AR headsetssmart glasses, and the metaverse.