E-tail Made Easier With 3-D

Engaging customers, personalization and increasing conversion rates have become staple phrases for online retailers looking to enhance the user experience and boost revenue.

Two new technology solutions use 3-D photography and rendering to help retailers draw and develop loyal customers.

Inside Technologies, based in Sydney, Australia, with an office in Los Angeles, provides a 3-D store-like atmosphere where online retailers can see and communicate with their customers in real time. The platform allows frequent visitors to the site to get an inside perspective of the shopping experience.

Inside features a monitor feed of information specific to each client, which includes social-networking posts and real-time statistics such as conversion, sales pipeline and how much time is spent on the site.

Avatars actually represent movement of real-life customers in the online store, appealing to the retailer as a personalization tool. The interaction serves as a means for the retailer to guide the customer through the shopping experience, acting as a sales representative.

Hadar Paz, chief executive officer of the North American Inside group, said, “We allow companies to actually visualize the e-commerce side as if it’s the real store. Consumers are moved around the space to show them exactly where they are. There is a check-out area, search area, aisle of the products and information desk. The retailer, for the first time, can see their online store and discover how they can increase their conversion. Until now, they were relying on reports. Reports are history; they are last year, yesterday—and [that’s] too late. Retail methodology means that you are trying to help the customer right now. So, we are trying to move the very low conversion of 2 percent up toward where it should be.”

Along with user-friendly interface outlets, automated fashion photography has taken on advanced roles, as well. Ortery Technologies Inc. offers 3-D photography solutions for apparel sites. Its products include the recently launched ClothingPad and ClothingPad Mini, a software-controlled, lightweight table for shooting apparel and accessories to create uniform images against a transparent background.

The Irvine, Calif.–based company also offers the 360 Turntable Studio line, which includes Photo Capture 360, a synchronized system for shooting 360-degree product shots. Instead of a flat image or an individual JPEG, the solution shows the 360-degree interactive product views in flash, HTML or GIF formats. It is also supported by a zoom-in and magnifying feature. All 360 animations in HTML5 can be optimized and downloaded on all computers, as well as mobile devices and tablets.

According to Michael Atman, marketing manager of Ortery, “Retailers have been responding well, and within the last six months, we have been really seeing an adoption of the 360 with increased conversion rates online and a decrease in product returns.”